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HANDBOUND 
AT  THE 


UNIVERSITY  OF 


THE 


NINETEENTH 
CENTUBY 


/l/VD    AFTER 


XIX- 


.4    MONTHLY  REVIEW 


EDITED    BY    JAMES    KNOWLES 


VOL.  LVI 
JULY-DECEMBER  1904 


NEW    YOEK 
LEONARD   SCOTT  PUBLICATION  CO. 

LONDON:   SPOTTISWOODE   &   CO.  LTD.,  PRINTERS 


AP 

A 

T9 


CONTENTS   OF  VOL.  LVI 


PACK 

OUB  PITIABLE  MILITARY  SITUATION.  By  Colonel  Lonsdale  Hale.  .  1 

COMPULSOBY  EDUCATION  AND  COMPULSORY  MILITARY  TRAINING.  By 

Henry  Birchenougli  .......         20 

How  JAPAN  REFORMED  HERSELF.  By  0.  Eltzbacher  .  .  .28 

THE  WOMEN  OF  KOREA.  By  Lieut. -Colonel  G.  J.  B.  Gliinicke  .  .  42 

THE  POPE  AND  THE  NOVELIST  :  A  REPLY  TO  MR.  RICHARD  BAGOT.  By 

the  Bev.  Ethelred  L.  Taunton  .  .  .  .  .46 

TRAMPS  AND  WANDERERS.  By  Mrs.  Hlggs  .  •  .  .55 

EDUCATIONAL  CONCILIATION:  AN  APPEAL  TO  THE  CLERGY.  By  D.  C. 

Latlibury        ......  .67 

A  PRACTICAL  VIEW  OF  THE  ATHAN ASIAN  CREED.  By  the  Bight  Rev. 

Bishop  Welldon         .......         75 

THE  VIRGIN-BIRTH.    By  Blade  Butler        .  .  .  .  .84 

INVISIBLE  RADIATIONS.    By  Antonia  Zimmern      .  .  .  .88 

MEDICATED  AIR  :  A  SUGGESTION.  By  Dr.  William  Eivart  .  .  97 

THE  POLITICAL  WOMAN  IN  AUSTRALIA.  By  Vida  Goldstein  .  .  105 

THE  CAPTURE  OF  LHASA  IN  1710.  By  Demetrius  C.  Boulger  .  .  113 

ISCHIA  IN  JUNE.  By  Adeline  Paulina  Irby  ....  119 

CONCEBNING  SOME   OF  THE  '  ENFANTS  TROUVES  '  OF  LITERATURE.      By   the 

Lady  Currie .  .  .  .  .  .  .    *        .      126 

INTERNATIONAL  QUESTIONS  AND  THE  PRESENT  WAR.  By  Sir  John 

Macdonell 142 

LAST  MONTH  : 

(1)  By  Sir  Wemyss  Beid       .         ,   .  152,  319,  499,  686,  855,  1033 

(2)  By  Edward  Dicey  .....  163,  330,  510 

(3)  By  Walter  Frewen  Lord  .  .  .  .         867,  1044 
JAPAN  AND  THE  COMMENCEMENT  OF  THE  WAR  WITH  RUSSIA.    By  Baron 

Satyematsu     ........  173 

OUR  BI-CENTENARY  ON  THE  ROCK.  By  Bonald  McNeill  .  .  .  181 

BRITISH  SHIPPING  AND  FISCAL  REFORM.  By  the  Marquis  of  Graham  .  189 

THE  LIBERAL  PRESS  AND  THE  LIBERAL  PARTY.  By  W.  J.  Fisher  .  199 

THE  ETHICAL  NEED  OF  THE  PRESENT  DAY.  By  Prince  KropotJcin  .  207 

THE  HARVEST  OF  THE  HEDGEROWS.  By  Walter  Baymond  .  .  227 

THE  UNIONIST  FREE  TRADERS.  By  J.  St.  Loe  Strachey  .  .  .  236 

THE  POPE  AND  CHURCH  Music — A  REJOINDER.  By  Bichard  Bagot  .  247 

To  EXPLORE  ARABIA  BY  BALLOON.  By  the  Bev.  John  M.  Bacon  .  .  251 
SOME  MAXIMS  OF  THE  LATE  LORD  CALLING  AND  BULWER.  By  the  Bight 

Hon.  Sir  Henry  Drummond-Wolff  .  ....  262 

PEPYS  AND  MERCER.  By  Norman  Pearson  ....  269 

SOME  INDIAN  PORTRAITS.  By  the  late  Sir  William  Battigan  .  .  286 
WHAT  is  THE  USE  OF  GOLD  DISCOVERIES  ?  By  the  Bight  Hon.  Leonard 

Courtney        ........  299 

PHYSICAL  CONDITION  OF  WORKING-CLASS  CHILDREN.  By  Dr.  T.  J. 

Macnamara   ........  307 

GIFTS.     By  C.  E.  WJieeler  .......  312 

How  RUSSIA  BROUGHT  ON  WAR — A  COMPLETE  HISTORY.  By  Baron 

Suyematsu      .......  341,  521 

THE  COMING  REVOLUTION  IN  RUSSIA.  By  Carl  Joubert  .  .  .  364 


iv  CONTENTS    OF  VOL.  LVI 

PAGB 

THE  EAST  AFRICA  PROTECTORATE  AS  A  EUROPEAN  COLONY.    By  Sir 

Charles  Eliot             .......  370 

FREE  THOUGHT  IN  THE  CHURCH  OF  ENGLAND.    By  W.  H.  Mattock          .  386 
THE  DIFFICULTY  OF  PREACHING  SERMONS.    By  the  Right  Rev.  Bishop 

Welldon 402 

SHALL  WE  EESTORE  THE  NAVIGATION  LAWS  ?    By  Benjamin  Taylor       .  418 

THE  AMERICAN  WOMAN — AN  ANALYSIS.    By  H.  B.  Marriott-Watson      .  433 

MY  FRIEND  THE  FELLAH.    By  Sir  Walter  Mieville          .            .            .  443 

COLLEY  GIBBER'S  '  APOLOGY.'     By  H.  B.  Irving    ....  451 
THE  PINNACLE  OF  PROSPERITY — A  NOTE  OF  INTERROGATION.    By  J.  W. 

Cross  .........  469 

THE  POLITICAL  AND  INDUSTRIAL  SITUATION  IN  AUSTRALIA.     By  Tom 

Mann .........  475 

A  CHAPTER  ON  OPALS.    By  H.  Kershaw  Walker   ....  492 

ROME  OR  THE  EEFORMATioN.    By  the  Lady  Wimborne     .            .            .  543 

THE  INTERNATIONAL  SOCIALIST  CONGRESS.    By  J.  Keir  Hardie  .            .  559 
MR.   HARRISON'S    HISTORICAL    ROMANCE.      By  the  Bight  Hon.  John 

Morley            ........  571 

OUR  NAVAL  STRENGTH  AND  THE  NAVY  ESTIMATES.    By  the  Bight  Hon. 

Lord  Brassey  ....... 

THE  GERMAN  ARMY  SYSTEM  AND  How  IT  WORKS.    By  J.  L.  Bashford    . 
ARE  REMARKABLE  PEOPLE*  REMARKABLE -LOOKING  ? — AN  EXTRAVAGANZA. 

By  the  Lady  Currie  .  .  .  .  .  .          .  .022 

THE    BY-LAW    TYRANNY    AND    RURAL    DEPOPULATION — A    PERSONAL 

EXPERIENCE.    By  Wilfrid  Scawen  Blunt  .            .            .            .  643 

THE  LAND  OF  JARGON.    By  Helena  Frank .....  652 

A  REMINISCENCE  OF  COVENTRY  PATMORE.    By  Dr.  Paul  Chapman           .  668 

THE  NEXT  LIBERAL  MINISTRY.     By  Henry  W.  Lucy        .            .            .  675 
THE    RIGHTS   AND    DUTIES    OF    NEUTRALS:    PRESIDENT    ROOSEVELT'S 

PROPOSED  CONFERENCE.    By  Sir  John  Macdonell  .            .            .  697 

ENGLAND,  GERMANY,  AND  AUSTRIA.     By  Sir  Rotuland  Blennerhassett    .  707 

MOTOR  TRAFFIC  AND  THE  PUBLIC  ROADS.     By  Sir  Walter  Gilbey            .  723 
FREE  THOUGHT  IN  THE  CHURCH  OF  ENGLAND.    By  the  Rev.  Prebendary 

Whitworth     .......           \  737 

MR.    MALLOCK   AND    THE    BISHOP    OF  .  WORCESTER.    By  the  Rev.  H. 

Maynard  Smith         .......  746 

THE  EXHIBITION  OF  EARLY  ART  IN  SIENA.    By  Langion  Douglas            .  756 

THE  LITERATURE  OF  FINLAND.    By  Hermione  Ramsden  .            .            .  772 

TABLE-TALK.    By  Mrs.  Frederic  Harrison            ....  790 

SIR  ROBERT  WILSON  :  A  FORGOTTEN  ADVENTURER.    By  the  Right  Hon. 

Sir  Herbert  Maxioell             .            .            .            .             .            .  796 

JAPANESE  EMIGRANTS.    By  Wilson  Crewdson        ....  813 

WOMAN  IN  CHINESE  LITERATURE.     By  Herbert  A.  Giles    .            .            .  820 
THE  CHECK  TO  WOMAN  SUFFRAGE  IN  THE  UNITED  STATES.    By  Frank 

Foxcroft         ........  833 

THE  RUSSIAN  SOLDIER.     By  Carl  Joubert .....  842 

GREAT  BRITAIN  AND  GERMANY:    A  CONVERSATION  WITH   COUNT  VON 

BULOW,  GERMAN  CHANCELLOR.     By  J.  L.  Bashford            .            .  _J373 

PRESIDENT  ROOSEVELT'S  OPPORTUNITIES.    By  Sidney  Loio          .            .  /~*882 

WHAT  THE  FRENCH  DOCTORS  SAW.    By  Lady  Priestley    .            .            .  892 
FREE  THOUGHT  IN  THE  CHURCH  OF  ENGLAND:  A  REJOINDER.    By  TT. 

Mallock           .            .            .            .            .            .            .  905 

HYMNS — '  ANCIENT  '  AND  '  MODERN.'     By  the  Countess  of  Jersey .            .  925 

THE  CENSUS  OF  INDIA.    By  J.  D.  Rees        .            .            .            .            .  938 

THE  DECLINE  OF  THE  SALON.    By  Miss  Rose  M.  Bradley             .            .  950 

HARA-KIRI  :  ITS  REAL  SIGNIFICANCE.    By  Baron  Suyematsu        .            .  960 

THE  CORELESS  APPLE.     By  Sampson  Morgan        ....  966 

THE  RHODES  BEQUEST  AND  UNIVERSITY  FEDERATION.     By  J.  Churton 

Collins            ......                         .  970 

PALMISTRY  IN  CHINA.    By  Herbert  A.  Giles            ....  985 

QUEEN  CHRISTINA'S  PICTURES.     By  His  Excellency  the  Stvedish  Minister  989 

ONE  LESSON  FROM  THE  BECK  CASE.    By  Sir  Robert  Anderson     .            .  1004 

THE  GERMAN  NAVY  LEAGUE.    By  Dr.  Louis  Elkind         .            .  1012 

THE  RE -FLOW  FROM  TOWN  TO  COUNTRY.    By  Sir  Robert  Hunter             .  323 


THE 


NINETEENTH 
CENTURY 

AND  AFTER 

XX 


No.  CCCXXIX— JULY  1904 


OUR    PITIABLE    MILITARY   SITUATION 


THE  eight  signatories  of  the  Majority  Report  of  the  Royal  Commis- 
sion on  the  Militia  and  Volunteers  have  no  reason  to  be  dissatisfied 
with  the  reception  of  their  Report  by  the  public,  presuming,  of  course, 
that  the  utterances  of  the  Press  may  be  taken  as  indicative  thereof. 
The  record  of  their  work  is  in  four  Blue-books.  The  first  gives,  in 
seventy-eight  pages,  the  two  Royal  Warrants  creating  the  Com- 
mission, the  Majority  Report  (with  two  schedules),  a  short  memo- 
randum by  Lord  Grenfell,  a  long  memorandum  of  twenty-six  pages 
by  Colonel  O'Callaghan-Westropp,  two  minority  reports  contributed 
by  three  of  the  Commissioners,  and  two  short  appendices.  The 
second  and  third  books  give  the  minutes  of  evidence,  which  com- 
prise no  fewer  than  24,150  questions  and  answers ;  the  fourth  gives 
275  pages  of  close  reading  in  the  form  -of  appendices.  In  these  appen- 
dices are  not  only  returns  showing  numbers,  cost,  &c.,  but  among 
them  is  a  huge  amount  of  evidence  given  in  writing  by  societies 
existing  among  the  Auxiliary  Forces  ;  by  witnesses  who  had  appeared 
befo^  Jommission,  and  who  desired  to  amplify  their  verbal 

evidence  ;  and,  finally,  a  summary  of  answers  to  a  circular  of  questions 
VOL.  LVI— No.  329  B 


2  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTUBY  July 

sent  to  the  commanding  officer  of  each  Militia  and  Volunteer  unit. 
It  is  practically  a  third  volume  of  evidence.  And  within  forty-eight 
hours  the  verdict  is  pronounced,  and  it  is  almost,  but  not  quite, 
unanimously  one  of  condemnation. 

But  the  jury  were  only  human  beings  ;  and,  therefore,  real  judicial 
consideration  of  the  evidence  on  which  the  Report  is  based  was 
obviously  out  of  the  question  in  this  short  time ;  so  it  necessarily 
follows  that  the  adverse  judgment  must  have  been  arrived  at  on  some 
grounds  quite  different  from  the  evidence  on  which  the  Commissioners 
formed  their  opinions.  And  with  the  condemnation  came  an  amount 
of  '  drubbing  '  the  Commissioners  that  reminds  me  of  the  old  advice : 
*  If  you  have  a  bad  case,  don't  reply  to  your  opponent's  arguments, 
but  abuse  him.' 

A  few  specimens,  taken  from  some  of  the  London  daily  papers, 
and  all  written,  be  it  remembered,  almost  immediately  after  the 
four  volumes  came  into  the  hands  of  the  respective  writers,  and 
before  there  was  time  to  do  more  than  give  the  very  hastiest  .glance 
over  this  enormous  mass  of  evidence,  are  illustrative  of  the  spirit  of 
this  condemnation.  '  A  more  inadequate  document  of  its  kind  has 
rarely  been  published.'  '  Its  [the  Commission's]  head  was  turned 
from  the  beginning  by  the  spectacle  of  a  Cabinet  bowing  before 
Lord  Esher's  triumvirate.'  *  The  Report  reads  like  the  crudest 
production  of  the  most  sensational  journalist  of  the  Jingo  school.' 
The  Report  is  an  '  impudent  document,'  and  the  Commissioners 
were  guilty  of  a  '  sublime  piece  of  audacity.'  The  Commissioners 
'  did  not  know  very  clearly  what  they  were  about.'  The  Com- 
mission was  not  '  very  strongly  constituted,'  and  when,  a  week 
later,  Mr.  Arnold-Forster  stated  in  the  House  of  Commons  that  the 
Government  did  not  intend  to  endorse  the  recommendation  of  the 
Commission  so  far  as  adopting  conscription,  we  read  of  the  '  absurd 
conscription  scheme ' — a  Commission  of  '  military  officers  and  theo- 
risers.'  '  To  say  that  it  [the  Report]  has  fallen  flat  would  be  to  put 
the  case  very  mildly.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  it  has  met  with  con- 
temptuous and  almost  unqualified  condemnation.'  Evidently  it  is  on 
some  very  tender  toe  that  the  Commission  has  trodden  ;  and  to  the 
injured  toe  a  clue  is  found  in  the  allegation  that  the  Commission  has 
acted  ultra  vires,  and  has  inquired  into  and  reported  on  matters  not 
included  in  the  terms  of  reference.  And  we  run  the  quarry  to  ground 
in  the  first  paragraph  of  the  leading  article  of  the  Times,  which  paper, 
with  one  or  two  others,  has  kept  aloof  from  the  shouting  crowd. 
'  The  Report  of  the  Royal  Commission  on  the  Militia  and  Volunteers, 
whatever  may  be  thought  of  its  specific  proposals,  is  bound  to  derive 
an  historical  importance  from  the  fact  that  it  is  the  first  official  docu- 
ment of  the  kind  to  enunciate  and  endorse  the  principle  of  compulsory 
military  service.' 

Yes,  it  is  the  recommendation  of  the  adoption  of  the   principle 


1904      OUE   PITIABLE   MILITARY  SITUATION  3 

that  it  is  the  bounden  duty  of  every  able-bodied  male  adult  to 
take  part  efficiently,  if  called  on  to  do  so,  in  the  defence  of  hearths 
and  homes,  that  has  aroused  this  outburst  of  anger  and  abuse  ;  and 
the  wrath  exhibited  is  sure  to  be  intensified  by  the  cool,  merciless, 
unemotional,  and  logical  process  adopted  by  the  Commission  in 
layirg  bare  and  open  to  the  public  gaze  the  actual  and  pitiable  situa- 
tion in  which  we  stand  as  regards  the  defence  of  our  homes  at  the 
present  time. 

And  even  if  this  charge,  ultra  vires,  were  maintainable,  as  I  hold 
it  is  not,  surely  the  Commission  deserves  gratitude,  not  condem- 
nation, for  telling  us  what  it  believes  to  be  the  plain  truth,  and 
for  endeavouring  to  awaken  the  country  to  the  fact  that  we  are, 
as  regards  defence  of  our  homes,  living  in  a  fools'  paradise.  If  the 
Commissioners  are  wrong,  and  our  paradise  is  one  not  for  fools  only, 
surely  it  will  not  be  a  very  difficult  task  for  some  of  their  opponents 
to  explain  to  us  the  errors  and  fallacies  underlying  the  assertions  of 
the  Commissioners.  But,  before  doing  this,  there  is  some  work  for 
them ;  they  will  have  to  go  carefully  through  the  evidence  on  which 
the  conclusions  that  irritate  them  are  based,  and  they  will  have  to 
produce  in  support  of  their  case  evidence  as  worthy  of  respect  as 
that  given  by  the  competent  witnesses  called  before  the  Commis- 
sion. The  opinions  formed  by  the  Commissioners  are  not  mere 
theoretical  fancies  of  their  own ;  they  are  derived  from  the  evidence 
brought  before  them,  and  which  they  have  considered  judicially.  It 
is  regrettable  that  a  very  high-class  London  paper  should  write  of  the 
Commissioners  :  '  Unfortunately,  they  were  too  much  enamoured  of 
their  hobby  to  make  any  serious  contributions  towards  the  solution 
of  the  problem  presented  to  them  ....  the  Government  have  lost 
no  time  in  declaring  that  they  will  have  nothing  to  do  with  the  scheme. 
It  would  have  been  unfortunate  if  the  fantastic  notion  had  been 
treated  with  any  sort  of  indulgence.'  Why  it  should  be  supposed  that 
with  the  Dukes  of  Norfolk  and  Richmond,  the  Earl  of  Derby,  Lord 
Grrenfell,  and  their  colleagues,  compulsory  service  for  home  defence  is 
a  '  hobby '  is  incomprehensible  ;  characterising  universal  service  for 
home  defence,  which  not  one  of  the  dissentient  members  regards 
as  totally  out  of  the  question,  as  a  '  fantastic  notion,'  indicates, 
on  the  part  of  the  writer,  the  possession  of  an  amount  of  confidence 
in  his  own  opinion  that  few  soldiers  or  sailors  who  have  studied  the 
subject  possess.  Had  the  Report  been  of  a  milk-and-water,  colourless 
character,  it  would  soon  have  been  consigned  to  the  limbo  of  ephemeral 
Blue-books,  and  no  one  would  have  troubled  himself  to  read  the 
evidence  ;  but  when  the  eight  signatories,  known  not  to  be  fools,  are 
held  up  to  sneers  and  ridicule  on  the  one  hand,  and  the  Times,  on  the 
other  hand,  affirms  that  the  Report  is  of  '  historical  importance,'  these 
eight  men  are  bound  to  receive  their  reward,  in  the  certainty  that 

B   2 


4  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

such  a  peculiar  reception  is  certain  to  draw  to  the  Report  and  the 
evidence  the  attention  of  all  thinking  men. 

The  Commissioners  were  directed  to  '  inquire  into  the  organisa- 
tion, numbers,  and  terms  of  service  of  our  Militia  and  Volunteer 
Forces ;  and  to  report  whether  any,  and,  if  any,  what,  changes  are 
required  in  order  to  secure  that  these  forces  shall  be  maintained  in  a 
condition  of  military  efficiency  and  at  an  adequate  strength.'     The 
Commissioners  commenced  their  inquiry,  it  may  be  presumed,  with 
impartial  minds ;  but  as  they  were  directed  to  report  how  to  secure 
the  maintenance  of  these  forces  in  an  efficient  condition  and  in 
adequate  strength,  it  was  only  after  ascertaining  the  functions  those 
forces  would  have  to  fulfil  that  the  inquiry  could  be  further  extended. 
The  Garde  Nationale  in  France  was  thoroughly  efficient  in  1870-71  if 
it  knew  enough  to  be  able  to  defend  its  own  localities ;  for  the  Garde 
Mobile,  intended  to  form  part  of  the  mobile  army,  a  much  higher 
standard  of  efficiency  was  necessary.     A  very  small  staff  and  but 
little  equipment  were  needed  for  the  one  ;  a  highly  trained  and  com- 
plete staff  and  much  impedimenta  were  the  necessary  requirements 
for  the  other.      Similarly  as  regards  the  officers  and  non-commis- 
sioned officers ;  whilst  the  Garde  Mobile  must  be  complete  in  these,  and 
it  was  only  good,  well-trained  soldiers  that  could   be  leaders,  their 
local  influence  and   position  might  go  very  far  to  counterbalance 
professional  deficiencies  in  the  Garde  Nationale  in  local  defence.    Had 
I  had  the  honour  of  being  one  of  the  Commissioners,  I  should  have 
joined  most  firmly  with  my  colleagues  in  demanding  this  preliminary 
information  respecting  the  functions,  for  there  would  have  recurred 
to  my  mind  a  lecture  delivered  at  the  Royal  United  Service  Institu- 
tion by  Lieut.-Colonel  Eustace  Balfour  on  the  28th  of  November, 
1895,  when  he  spoke  as  follows  : 

'  Volunteering  is,  in  two  respects,  similar  to  the  labours  of  the 
Israelites  in  their  efforts  to  make  bricks  without  straw.  The  clay  we 
have  of  good  quality  and  in  sufficient  abundance  ;  but  we  lack  time  to 
harden  it,  and  money  to  spend  on  the  more  modern  appliances  for  its 
manufacture.  With  the  financial  side  of  the  question  I  am  not  to-day 
concerned,  I  therefore  put  that  aside ;  but  for  the  rest  we  all  know 
what  would  be  the  result  if  a  bricklayer's  apprentice  were  to  set  him- 
self to  erect  a  structure  of  half-burnt  bricks.  Not  only  would  that 
structure  present  all  the  failures  of  ignorance,  but  the  bricks  would  be 
twisted  out  of  shape,  and  would  have  to  be  remoulded  before  they 
could  again  advance  in  the  process  of  manufacture.' 

In  the  course  of  the  discussion  that  followed,  I  protested,  as  a 
retired  soldier- civilian,  as  I  did  later  on  in  an  article  in  this  Review, 
against  the  walls  for  the  defence  of  my  own  locality  being  constructed 
of  bricks  of  this  kind.  But  Lord  Wolseley,  who  presided  at  the 
lecture  and  had  just  become  Commander-in-Chief,  made,  in  his 
summing-up,  a  remarkable  statement.  '  We  must  remember  what 


1904      OUR   PITIABLE   MILITARY  SITUATION  5 

that  force  is  composed  of.  We  must  remember  that  a  very  large  pro- 
portion of  the  officers  in  it  cannot  devote  themselves  day  by  day,  or 
even  for  some  hours  during  specified  weeks  in  the  winter,  to  learn 
what  we  would  like  to  teach  them.  We  have  to  take  them  as  they  are. 
As  practical  men,  if  we  cannot  have  a  whole  loaf  we  must  be  contented 
to  take  half.  If  a  man  has  a  gap  in  his  fence  and  cannot  afford  to  have 
an  iron  gate,  he  must  be  prepared  to  put  up  with  a  wooden  one.  That 
is  the  way  in  which  we  must  look  at  the  Volunteer  force.' 

The  italics  are  my  own,  as  elsewhere  in  this  article.  We  poor 
civilians  are  to  be  content  with  walls  of  half -burnt  bricks  and  gates  of 
wood.  Against  this  exasperating  theory  I  protested  strongly  in  the 
article  referred  to,  and  I  do  so  now  again.  About  the  same  time 
Lord  Lansdowne,  the  then  Secretary  of  State  for  War,  stated  that 
'  he  was  informed  on  the  best  authority  that  there  never  was  a  time 
when  the  Volunteer  force,  in  point  of  discipline  and  efficiency,  stood 
higher  than  at  present.'  But  this  is  beside  the  mark,  for  mere  better 
than  badjs  not  necessarily  good.  The  Commissioners  were  appointed 
to  inquire  into  efficiency  and  numbers ;  it  might  be  possible  that  the 
other  forms  of  defence  in  this  country  are  so  strong  and  trustworthy 
that  walls  of  '  half-burnt  bricks  '  and  '  gates  of  wood  '  would  do  very 
well,  as  being  ornamental  rather  than  for  actual  use  ;  it  might  be,  on 
the  other  hand,  that  owing  to  the  progress  of  modern  warfare,  the 
altered  conditions  of  sea  warfare,  and  the  huge  expansion  of  the 
Empire  in  the  last  five  years,  '  half -burnt  bricks  '  and  '  gates  of  wood,' 
even  in  the  places  assigned  them,  would  be  about  of  as  little  value  to 
us  inhabitants  of  the  British  Isles  as  the  Noah's  ark  in  the  children's 
nursery  would  have  been  to  Noah,  Shem,  Ham,  and  Japhet  in  the 
days  of  the  Flood.  So  the  Commissioners  were  bound  to  ascertain  at 
the  very  outset  the  functions  of  the  forces.  If  an  owner  hands  over 
a  racing  colt  for  training,  the  trainer  is  not  likely  to  bring  him  out  a 
winner  if  he  is  left  in  doubt  as  to  whether  the  owner  intends  to  run 
the  colt  for  a  six-furlong  race,  or  the  Derby,  or  the  Grand  National. 

Naturally,  therefore,  the  Commissioners  commenced  with  an 
inquiry  at  the  War  Office  as  to  the  views  held  there  on  the  subject. 
In  response  they  received  a  document,  a  memorandum  headed  :  '  The 
Organisation  of  the  Auxiliary  Forces  considered  in  relation  to  the 
Military  Defence  of  the  Empire.'  Lieut. -General  Sir  W.  Nicholson, 
the  then  Director-General  of  Military  Intelligence  and  Mobilisation, 
was  careful,  however,  to  explain  that  it  was  an  authoritative  expres- 
sion of  the  present  views  (19th  of  May,  1903)  of  the  Commander-in-Chief 
and  the  Secretary  of  State  only — i.e.,  Earl  Roberts  and  Mr.  Brodrick. 
They  then  tried  to  ascertain  the  views  held  at  the  Admiralty  on  the 
subject  of  invasion,  inasmuch  as  in  the  War  Office  memorandum  the 
Auxiliary  Forces  were  reckoned  on  in  the  defence.  This  information 
the  Admiralty  declined  to  give,  but  suggested  application  to  the 
Committee  of  Imperial  Defence.  So  in  a  dignified  letter  of  the  26th 


6  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  July 

of  May,  signed  by  the  Duke  of  Norfolk,  the  Commission  asked  the 
Committee  of  Defence,  of  which  the  Duke  of  Devonshire  was  chairman, 
two  questions : 

1.  To  arrive  at  a  conclusion  as  to  what  should  be  the  strength  of  the  Auxiliary 
Forces,  it  is  necessary  to  have  an  approximate  idea  of  the  strength  of  the  in- 
vading force  which  the  land  forces  may  be  called  on  to  meet.     What  do  the 
Committee  of  Defence  consider  to   be   the   maximum  and  minimum  limits 
between  which  the  strength  of  the  invading  force  would  probably  be  fixed  ? 

2.  Is  it  contemplated  that  the  duty  of  meeting  the  invading  force  should  fall 
mainly  on  the  Auxiliary  Forces  ?     In  other  words,  is  the  Koyal  Commission 
justified  in  believing  that  the  contingency  may  arise  in  which  the  number  of 
fighting  units  of  the  Eegular  Army  left  in  the  country  will  be  very  small  ? 

These  are  questions  of  a  kind  which  would  enter  into  many  an 
operation  of  war,  and  which  would  need  to  be  answered  before  arriving 
at  a  decision  not  only  on  the  conduct  of  the  operations,  but  also  on 
the  number  and  kind  of  the  forces  to  be  employed.  At  the  time  of 
sending  in  the  questions  two  or  three  witnesses  only  besides  Sir  W. 
Nicholson  had  been  under  examination ;  but  nearly  a  month  elapsed 
before  any  reply  was  received  from  the  Duke  of  Devonshire,  who 
then,  in  a  memorandum,  calmly  informed  the  Duke  of  Norfolk  that 
'  the  reference  to  the  Royal  Commission  was  not  intended  to  cover  an 
inquiry  into  the  numbers  of  either  Regular  or  Auxiliary  Forces  which 
should  be  maintained  for  Home  Defence  or  for  other  services ' ;  and 
yet  the  terms  of  reference  distinctly  state  that  the  Commission  is  to 
ascertain  what  changes  may  be  necessary  to  maintain  these  forces,  not 
merely  in  a  condition  of  military  efficiency,  but  also  at  an  adequate 
strength,  Mr.  Akers-Douglas,  the  Minister  who  signed  the  Royal 
Warrant,  specifies  '  adequate  strength '  as  one  of  the  two  necessary 
conditions  of  the  Forces,  one  of  the  two  objects  to  be  aimed  at. 
Just  two  months  later,  the  Duke  of  Devonshire,  another  Minister, 
says  that  the  consideration  of  adequacy  does  not  enter  into  their 
work.  But  by  this  time  the  Commission,  which  had  been  working 
hard,  had  been  collecting  most  valuable  opinions  on  this  same  question 
of  adequacy. 

The  Duke  of  Devonshire  recommended,  however,  that  the  numbers 
given  in  the  present  mobilisation  scheme  of  the  War  Office  should  be 
accepted,  and,  he  added,  '  it  may  be  assumed  that  if  these  forces 
should  be  required  to  resist  an  invasion,  it  might  be  after  a  consider- 
able portion  of  the  Regular  Troops  might  have  left  the  country.'  When 
this  communication  was  received,  the  Commission  had  entered  on  the 
investigation  of  other  branches  of  the  inquiry,  so,  apparently,  the 
numbers  given  in  the  mobilisation  scheme  were  not  at  once  asked 
for ;  but  shortly  before  the  autumnal  adjournment  there  came  from 
the  Secretary  of  the  Imperial  Defence  Committee  a  letter  and  a 
memorandum,  dated  the  22nd  of  July,  both  of  a  most  remarkable 
character.  It  must  be  borne  in  mind  that  the  scope  of  the  inquiry 


by  the  Commission  was  laid  down  in  a  Royal  Warrant,  in  which  the 
King  himself  speaks,  first  gives  greeting  to  each  individual  member, 
and  then  specifies  the  task  they  have  to  carry  out,  and  in  one  clause 
says :  '  Our  further  will  and  pleasure  is  that  you  do,  with  as  little 
delay  as  possible,  report  to  Us  under  your  hands  and  seals,  or  under 
the  hands  and  seals  of  any  three  or  more  of  you,  your  opinion  upon 
the  matters  herein  submitted  for  your  consideration.'  The  warrant 
is  signed  '  By  his  Majesty's  command.  A.  Akers-Douglas.'  The  letter 
of  the  22nd  of  July  gives  as  the  object  in  sending  the  memorandum 
the  '  defining  more  clearly  the  scope  of  the  inquiries  to  be  undertaken, 
by  the  Commission  and  the  Committee  respectively.  The  memoran- 
dum warns  the  Commission  that  the  War  Office  memorandum  origin- 
ally furnished  to  it  is  '  not  to  be  taken  by  it  as  authoritative ' ;  and 
then  follow  passages  which  must  be  given  in  extenso  : 

It  appears  to  the  Committee  of  Imperial  Defence  that  it  would  be  most 
unfortunate  if  the  Eoyal  Commission  should,  with  necessarily  imperfect  oppor- 
tunities of  examining  the  question,  incorporate  into  its  Report  an  expression  of 
opinion  as  to  the  liability  to  invasion  or  as  to  the  strength  of  the  force  which 
should  be  maintained  for  the  defence  of  the  United  Kingdom  or  for  the  other 
purposes  referred  to,  which  may  afterwards  be  found  to  be  at  variance  with  the 
deliberate  and  authoritative  decision  of  the  Committee  of  Imperial  Defence, 
whose  special  function  it  has  been  to  examine  these  questions  with  a  full  com- 
mand of  all  the  sources  of  information  at  the  disposal  both  of  the  Admiralty  and 
of  the  War  Office. 

It  appears  to  the  Committee  of  Imperial  Defence  that  the  main  object  for 
which  the  Royal  Commission  was  appointed  was  to  advise  his  Majesty's 
Government  and  Parliament,  not  as  to  the  strength  at  which  the  Militia  and 
Yolunteers  should  be  maintained  in  the  country,  but  how  the  establishment  of 
Militia  and  Volunteers  could  be  maintained  at  full  efficiency,  and  at  the  strength 
which  may  be  eventually  decided  by  his  Majesty's  Government  and  Parliament, 
on  the  advice  of  the  Committee  of  Imperial  Defence,  to  be  necessary.  It  is 
therefore  suggested  that  the  present  Mobilisation  Scheme  should  be  taken  as 
the  basis  on  which  the  Royal  Commission  should  consider  this  question,  as  the 
principles  which  they  lay  down  must  necessarily  be  applicable  equally  to  an 
establishment  which  may  vary  within  reasonable  limits  on  either  side  of 
the  existing  one. 

The  Commission  at  once  asked  the  Committee  for  a  copy  of  the 
scheme,  and  in  reply  were  refused  the  copy,  but  were  told  it  would 
be  sufficient  if  the  figures  were  taken  at  100,000  Militia  and  200,000 
Volunteers. 

What  a  strange  state  of  affairs  is  here  revealed !  The  chairman 
of  the  Defence  Committee,  in  his  individual  capacity,  undertakes  to 
tell  the  chairman  of  a  Royal  Commission  what  its  duties  were,  or, 
rather,  were  not,  although  the  King  himself  has  defined  them.  Then 
the  Committee  further  lectures  the  Commission  as  to  the  scope  of 
their  respective  inquiries,  proceeds  to  make  recommendations  for 
omissions  from  the  Report,  and  finally  puts  to  it  the  conundrum 
how  to  maintain  the  establishment  of  the  Forces  at  full  efficiency 
and  at  the  unknown  quantity,  x — namely,  the  strength  which  at  some 


8  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  July 

future  time  is  to  be  determined  by  the  Government  and  Parliament. 
Surely  the  proper  course  for  the  Defence  Committee  to  have  taken 
was,  instead  of  lecturing  the  Commission  on  its  duties,  to  have 
obtained  from  the  King  a  modification  of  the  duties  his  Majesty  had 
thought  fit  to  impose  on  it. 

The  Commission  held  on  its  own  way  in  accordance  with  the 
instructions  of  his  Majesty  as  conveyed  to  it  in  the  Royal  Warrant, 
and  has  produced  in  the  Report  and  in  the  evidence  published  with 
it  matter  of  the  highest  national  value,  matter  worthy  of  close  and! 
very  grave  consideration. 

The  first  section  of  the  Report  should  be  printed  simply  as  a 
broadsheet  and  be  distributed  all  over  the  country,  in  slums  and 
in  palatial  residences  alike,  in  the  smallest  agricultural  hamlet  and 
the  busiest  mercantile  city.  The  Commission  does  not  argue  ;  it  gives 
only  plain  facts. 

'  Each  of  the  five  great  Powers  of  Europe  has  abandoned  the  once 
prevalent  idea  that  war  is  the  exclusive  business  of  a  limited  class, 
and  has  subjected  its  male  population  to  a  thorough  training,  either 
naval  or  military.  Accordingly,  each  of  these  nations  is  to-day 
ready  to  employ  in  war  the  greater  part  of  its  able-bodied  male  popu- 
lation between  certain  ages,  under  the  guidance  of  a  specially  trained 
body  of  officers  and  non-commissioned  officers.  .  .  .  Each  of  the 
great  States  has  also,  with  a  view  to  war,  so  organised  its  material 
resources,  and  in  particular  its  means  of  communication,  that  they 
may  be  fully  utilised  for  naval  and  military  purposes  from  the  very 
beginning  of  hostilities  ....  In  a  war  against  any  of  them  Great 
Britain  would  be  in  one  respect  at  a  grave  disadvantage.  For  while 
her  antagonist  by  previous  organisation  would  be  enabled  to  devote 
to  the  struggle  the  greater  part  of  its  resources  both  in  men  and  in 
material,  Great  Britain  would  not  at  the  beginning  have  at  her  dis- 
posal more  than  a  fraction  of  her  population,  and  her  material  re- 
sources could  be  very  imperfectly  applied.' 

And  now  as  to  invasion. 

'  The  perfection  of  the  means  of  communication,  and  in  foreign 
countries,  of  the  control  of  the  State  over  them,  is  such  that  the 
concentration  of  a  large  force  at  any  port  or  ports  is  practicable 
within  a  very  short  time  ;  what  was  formerly  a  matter  of  weeks  is  now 
an  affair  of  days,  possibly  even  of  hours? 

,   And  then,  after  speaking  of  the  corresponding  development  and 
changed  conditions  of  naval  warfare,  the  Report  continues  : 

'  Naval  warfare  is  always  more  concentrated  and  decisive  than 
land  warfare,  and  the  effect  of  the  developments  just  described  is  to 
intensify  these  characteristics,  while,  at  the  same  time,  the  want  of 
experience  with  the  new  instruments  renders  it  difficult  to  predict 
the  issue  of  a  naval  conflict.  More  is  staked  on  a  sea  fight  than  ever, 


1904      OUR   PITIABLE   MILITARY  SITUATION  9 

yet  it  is  harder  than  ever  to  foresee  the  results  which  the  destructive 
force  of  modern  weapons  may  produce.'  .  .  .  l  It  is  impossible  for  us 
to  shut  our  eyes  to  the  fact  that  the  next  naval  war  in  which  this  country 
may  be  engaged  will  be  on  both  sides  a  great  experiment.' 

In  the  next  section,  the  '  scope  of  the  inquiry,'  the  Commission, 
quoting  the  figures  furnished  on  the  one  hand  by  the  War  Office  as 
required  for  home  defence  330,000  (including  150,000  mobile  troops), 
and,  on  the  other,  the  300,000  given  by  the  Imperial  Defence  Com- 
mittee, points  out,  with  pitiless  logic,  that  these  numbers  are  irre- 
concilable either  with  reliance  solely  on  the  Navy  for  protection 
against  invasion,  or  against  a  small  raid.  '  An  effective  force — in  other 
words,  an  army — of  the  strength  proposed  to  us,  can  be  required  only 
to  meet  an  invasion.  Either  invasion  is  possible  or  it  is  not.  If  not, 
no  military  force  is  required  for  home  defence,  and  our  inquiry  could 
hardly  serve  any  practical  purpose.  But  if  invasion  is  possible,  it 
can  be  undertaken  only  by  one  of  the  great  European  Powers,  which 
possess  forces  highly  trained  and  ready  to  move  in  large  numbers  at 
the  shortest  notice.' 

And  then  they  proceed  to  give  their  interpretation  of  the  meaning 
of  the  words  in  the  King's  command,  '  the  condition  of  military 
efficiency  '  in  the  Auxiliary  Forces. 

'  The  Militia  exist  chiefly,  and  the  Volunteers  solely,  for  the  pur- 
pose of  resisting  a  possible  invasion  of  the  United  Kingdom,  which 
would  be  attempted  only  by  a  first-rate  army.  This  purpose  will  not 
be  fulfilled  merely  by  a  brave  or  creditable,  but  unsuccessful,  resist- 
ance ;  it  requires  the  defeat  of  the  enemy.  The  standard  of  efficiency 
to  be  aimed  at  it  is  therefore  not  a  matter  of  opinion ;  the  conditions  of 
war  and  of  the  battlefield  must  be  met,  and  no  lower  standard  can  be  laid 
down? 

The  Commission  had,  in  the  absence  of  more  authoritative  infor- 
mation, to  construct  for  itself  the  foundation  on  which  to  base  its 
inquiry  as  to  the  standard  of  efficiency,  and  as  to  the  numbers  of  the 
Auxiliary  Forces  required  to  carry  out  their  functions ;  and  on  the 
expert  evidence  laid  before  them  they  came  to  the  conclusion  that 
under  certain  circumstances  it  was  quite  possible  that  the  function 
that  these  forces  would  have  to  fulfil  would  be  the  meeting  and  crushing 
an  invading  hostile  force  of  150,000  picked  men,  fully  and  admirably 
staffed,  trained  to  the  highest  point  of  efficiency  for  acting  in  close 
country,  led  by  officers  and  non-commissioned  officers  of  high  individual 
capacity  in  all  ranks,  and,  I  may  add  on  my  own  account,  possessing 
from  highest  to  lowest  a  thorough  knowledge  of  the  country,  obtained 
by  previous  close  study  of  our  own  Ordnance  maps,  of  which,  we  may 
be  sure,  the  invaders  would  bring  with  them  an  ample  supply,  and  on 
which  doubtless  they  had  previously  carried  out  an  infinite  variety 
of  war  games. 

It  seems  to  be  generally  overlooked  that  no  Continental  Power 


10  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUBY  July 

would  strike  a  blow  on  land  in  this  country  without  having  first  pre- 
pared a  weapon  absolutely  reliable  for  the  purpose,  and  that  the  special 
preparation  of  the  force,  as  regards  individual  efficiency,  can  be  carried 
on  quietly  and  without  observation,  in  the  normal  training  which  each 
officer,  non-commissioned  officer,  and  private  undergoes  in  foreign 
armies.  The  same  rule  holds  good  with  regard  to  the  preparation  of 
any  naval  and  sea  transport  that  might  be  required  for  an  invasion. 
Under  the  well-thought-out  and  perfect  systems  that  prevail  on  the 
Continent,  the  only  order  required  for  changing  from  complete  passivity 
to  action,  immediate  and  at  full  power,  is  '  Go  ahead ' ;  everyone  at 
once  takes  his  allotted  place  in  the  huge  human  machine,  and  the 
whole  machine  at  once  starts  working,  smoothly,  rapidly,  and  without 
any  special  effort.  When  I  hear  of  time  available  to  make  prepara- 
tions to  meet  a  threatened  invasion,  the  bit  of  information  I  once 
picked  up  from  a  subaltern  in  the  German  army  recurs  to  my  mind. 
'  I  have  received  and  returned,'  he  said,  '  the  Red-Book  specifying  my 
work  on  the  order  to  mobilise  ;  I  go  to  Metz  to  bring  up  the  Reservists, 
and  in  the  book  I  have  been  informed  of  the  railway  stations  at  which 
we  shall  stop  during  the  journey,  and  the  number  of  cups  of  coffee 
that  will  be  ready  for  us  at  certain  places.'  And  that  implies  a  good 
deal  more — namely,  that  some  one  or  other,  possibly  a  civilian  at  some 
small  station,  knows  now  that  he  also  must  be  ready,  on  the  word 
*  Mobilise,'  to  supply  the  definitively  prescribed  number  of  cups  of 
coffee. 

The  Commissioners  then  set  to  work  to  ascertain  the  present  con- 
dition of  the  Auxiliary  Forces,  the  distance  they  are  below  this  necessary 
standard  of  efficiency,  and  the  possibility  of  their  ever  reaching  it ;  and 
after  a  searching  inquiry,  eight  out  of  the  twelve  found  themselves 
compelled  eventually  to  arrive  at  the  conclusion  embodied  in  the  final 
paragraph  of  the  Report,  and  which  has  aroused  such  a  tempest  of 
unreasoning  condemnation :  the  conclusion  that  '  Your  Majesty's 
Militia  and  Volunteer  forces  have  not  at  present  either  the  strength 
or  the  military  efficiency  required  to  enable  them  to  fulfil  the  functions 
for  which  they  exist ;  that  their  military  efficiency  would  be  much 
increased  by  the  adoption  of  the  measures  set  forth  in  the  fourth 
section  of  this  report,  which  would  make  them  valuable  auxiliaries 
to  the  regular  Army ;  but  that  a  home  defence  army  capable,  in  the 
absence  of  the  whole  or  the  greater  portion  of  the  regular  forces,  of 
protecting  this  country  against  invasion  can  be  raised  and  maintained 
only  on  the  principle  that  it  is  the  duty  of  every  citizen  of  military  age 
and  sound  physique  to  be  trained  for  the  national  defence,  and  to  take 
part  in  it  should  emergency  arise."1 

And  although  three  of  the  Commissioners  furnish  other  reports, 
all  three  recommend  compulsory  service  of  some  kind  or  other.  Sir 
Ralph  Knox  would  fix  the  quota  for  both  Militia  and  Volunteers,  and 
if  this  were  not  furnished  for  the  year,  the  whole  quota  next  year 


1904      OUR   PITIABLE   MILITARY  SITUATION          11 

should  be  furnished  as  Militia  from  all  men  in  their  twenty-first  year, 
and  thenceforward  for  Militia  only,  the  schemes  of  Volunteer  Service 
ceasing  to  exist. 

Colonels  Satterthwaite  and  Dalmahoy,  both  Volunteer  officers, 
recommend  the  principle  of  compulsion,  but  not  universal  service. 
They  say  : 

The  principle  of  compulsion  having  been  accepted,  we  think  that  every  effort 
should  be  made  to  raise  the  necessary  troops  by  voluntary  means,  but  that  the 
man  who  neglects  his  opportunity  of  learning  the  work  necessary  to  enable  him 
to  take  his  part  in  the  defence  of  the  country  in  his  earlier  years,  should  be  liable 
to  compulsion  at  the  age  of  twenty. 

I  presume  that,  by  an  oversight,  the  words  '  in  his  earlier  years  ' 
are  misplaced,  and  are  intended  to  follow  the  word  '  learning.'  Then 
comes : 

To  attain  this  [what  ?]  every  male  inhabitant  who  is  not  a  member  of  one  of 
the  Forces  of  the  Crown,  should,  on  a  certain  date  in  the  year  following  his 
twentieth  birthday,  be  required  to  attend  and  register  his  name  and  address.  If 
exempted  from  any  of  the  causes  allowed  by  law,  he  would  then  lodge  his 
exemption  certificate.  If  not,  he  would  either : 

1.  Be  allotted  to  the  Militia  or  Volunteers,  according  to  any  deficiency  there 
might  be  in  the  units  comprised  in  the  Command  of  the  General  Officer  Com- 
manding-in- Chief ;  or 

2.  Be  warned  to  attend  for  training  and  service  on  proclamation  of  great 
emergency ;  or 

3.  Be  discharged  as  physically  unfit. 

Voluntary  enlistment  should  not  commence  in  either  Force  before  the  age  of 
eighteen,  and  the  medical  inspection  of  the  Volunteers  should  be  much  stricter 
than  at  present. 

It  seems,  therefore,  that  the  only  difference  between  the  majority 
and  the  minority  of  the  Commission  is  that,  whereas  the  former 
desire  to  make  us  secure  at  once,  the  latter  wish  to  postpone  the  pro- 
cess until  the  efficacy  of  less  strong  measures  has  been  tried. 

I  defer  for  the  present  the  consideration  of  the  views  put  forward 
to  the  Commission  by  the  witnesses  with  great  experience  of  high  com- 
mand in  modern  war ;  and  the  first  impression  I  receive  from  the 
views  expressed  by  many  other  of  the  witnesses  is  that  there  is  a  general 
belief  that,  like  as  the  sun  was  stayed  in  the  heavens  for  the  benefit  of 
the  chosen  people,  so  the  world  is  for  an  indefinite  period  to  stop 
rotating  until  the  measures  recommended  in  the  minority  reports  for 
the  improvement  of  the  Auxiliary  Forces  for  the  defence  of  the  British 
Isles  have  had  time,  not,  be  it  noted,  to  bring  about  the  desired  result, 
but  until  we  shall  be  able  to  ascertain  whether  they  would  do  so  at 
all.  The  idea  seems  prevalent  that  we  are  in  a  sort  of  millennium, 
with  any  amount  of  time  for  sluggish  snail-pace  improvement.  The 
minority  reports,  and  the  recommendations  for  which  the  majority 
of  the  Commissioners,  much  against  their  will  and  their  sound 
appreciation  of  the  facts  of  the  matter,  find  place  in  their  report, 


12  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

are  suitable  for  an  imaginary  world,  but  not  for  the  tempestuous 
actual  world  in  which  our  lot  is  cast. 

In  this  our  world,  great  nations  stand  permanently  armed  to  the 
teeth,  and  ready  to  '  let  slip  the  dogs  of  war.'  As  Major  Ross,  in  his 
Representative  Government  and  War,  points  out,  a  nation  that  deter- 
mines to  hold  or  gain  the  upper  hand  lies  in  wait  till  the  favourable 
moment  comes,  the  moment  when  it  possesses  some  marked  superiority 
or  advantage  over  its  rival,  and  then  it  either  converts  some  little 
insult  or  fancied  grievance  into  a  casus  belli,  or  in  the  absence  of  these 
it  creates  a  casus  belli,  and  plunges  forthwith  into  the  struggle.  Just 
now  '  1'entente  cordiale,'  whilst  of  comfort  and  benefit  to  the  present, 
has  a  blinding  effect  on  us  as  to  the  future,  and  has  an  obliterating 
effect  on  the  remembrance  of  the  history  of  the  past.  And  yet  how 
rapidly  change  the  feelings  of  nations  to  each  other !  The  memories 
of  that  dark  year  1900  seem  quite  blotted  out.  Engaged  in  a  stu- 
pendous struggle  oversea,  we  were  absolutely  defenceless  at  home. 
I  went  about  among  the  camps  of  the  Regular  and  Auxiliary  Forces, 
and  found  an  almost  hopeless  absence  of  knowledge  of  soldiering. 
A  recently  promoted  general  officer  whom  I  congratulated  on  his 
advancement,  replied,  '  I  am  very  glad,  but  I  want  to  be  taught 
general's  work.'  I  reported  to  the  civil  and  military  authorities 
that,  in  my  opinion,  50,000  highly  trained  regular  troops  of  any 
hostile  foreign  Power  could  walk  from  one  end  of  England  to  the 
other,  as  I  still  believe  they  could  have  done.  A  syndicate  of 
journalists  invited  me  to  write  a  series  of  articles  on  the  invasion 
of  England :  in  my  reply  I  told  them  that  for  me  to  do  so  would 
be  the  act  of  a  '  traitor '  ;  and  to  emphasise  this  I  informed  them  of 
the  fact,  of  which  they  till  then,  like  all  not  behind  the  scenes, 
were  in  complete  ignorance,  that  we  had  only  between  thirty  and 
forty  field  guns  with  which  to  enter  on  a  defensive  campaign.  We 
were  simply  on  the  brink  of  a  hopeless  catastrophe  at  the  end  of  1900. 
In  the  course  of  three  years  the  political  weathercock  has  gone  clean 
round.  He  would  be  a  bold  prophet,  however,  who  would  guarantee 
for  the  next  three  years  its  remaining  in  this  position.  Our  safety 
now  depends  on  there  arising  no  misunderstanding  with  any  great 
foreign  Power,  no  increase  of  present  requirements  for  holding  our 
now  vastly  expanded  empire,  and  on  our  being  generously  allowed  by 
our  possible  foes  time  to  find  out  whether  our  would-be  defenders, 
who  have  other  '  avocations  in  life,'  can  kindly  spare  enough 
time  to  acquire  sufficient  efficiency  to  afford  us  real  protection  in 
the  defence  of  our  homes  by  the  trial  of  the  many  nostrums  and 
alleged  specifics,  including  quack  remedies,  with  which  the  evidence 
teems.  And  how  much  stronger,  for  both  possible  Imperial  oversea 
needs  and  for  home  defence,  are  we  now  than  we  were  at  the 
commencement  of  the  South  African  war  ?  A  little,  but  not  much. 
No  wonder  that  the  German  officers  who  have  read  the  Report 


1904      OUR   PITIABLE   MILITARY  SITUATION          13 

regard  the  matter,  as  the  Berlin  correspondent  of  the  Times  tells 
us,  with  an  interest  only  '  languid  and  perfunctory.'  Had  universal 
service  been  the  unanimous  and  sole  recommendation  of  the 
Commission,  a  very  different  sort  of  interest  would  have  been 
aroused.  The  point  at  issue  between  the  majority  of  the  Commis- 
sioners and  their  opponents,  whether  within  the  Commission  itself  or 
in  the  country  generally,  is  simply  whether  by  a  certain  amount  of 
individual  self-sacrifice  as  patriotic  citizens,  we  shall  render  ourselves 
practically  secure  against  invasion,  or  whether,  as  citizens  patriotic 
only  nominally,  we  shall  grudge  the  small  amount  of  convenience 
and  ease  we  are  asked  to  give  up  for  the  general  good,  and  shall 
prefer  to  continue  for  an  indefinite  period  in  a  sort  of  fancied  happy- 
go-lucky  security,  which,  in  plain  words,  is  absolute  insecurity. 

Bearing  in  mind  the  hopelessness  of  accepting,  under  the  altered 
conditions  of  sea  transport,  any  fixed  time  whatever  for  preparation 
against  invasion,  to  my  mind  it  does  not  matter  what  strength  is 
assumed  as  that  of  the  invading  force. 

I  remember  in  the  course  of  conversation  at  Brussels  in  1874, 
at  the  Conference  on  the  Usages  of  War,  Colonel  von  Voigts-Rhetz 
telling  my  general,  the  late  Sir  Alfred  Horsford,  that  if  he  could  land 
in  England  with  three  army  corps,  in  those  days  90,000  men,  he  could 
do  a  good  deal.  Von  Voigts-Rhetz  did  not  seem  to  think  much  of 
small  raids,  but  we  must  remember  on  the  one  hand  the  disastrous 
effect  that  a  landing  of  say  20,000  men  at  two  or  three  points  on  the 
coast  would  produce,  and  the  enormous  damage  they  might  effect ; 
and,  on  the  other  hand,  that  numbers  like  these  are  a  mere  trifle  in 
the  total  of  Continental  armies  nowadays,  and  that  so  disastrous 
would  be  the  effect  produced  on  this  country  by  a  raid  of  any  kind, 
that  preserving  the  communication  of  the  raiding  forces  across  sea, 
or  even  their  eventual  destruction  or  loss,  would  not  enter  into  the 
hostile  calculations  as  a  deterrent  to  the  expedition.  Colonel  von 
Voigts-Rhetz  spoke  with  all  the  experience  derived  from  fighting 
against  hastily  organised  auxiliary  forces  in  that  part  of  France  which 
resembles  in  its  physical  aspects  close  English  country — namely,  the 
country  on  the  Loire. 

It  is  obviously  impossible  to  incorporate  in  an  article  such  as  this 
even  an  analysis  of  the  huge  masses  of  oral  and  written  evidence  favour- 
ing respectively  the  conclusions  of  the  majority  and  those  of  the 
minority  of  the  Commissioners  ;  the  one  in  support  of  the  adoption  of  a 
scheme  certain  and  sure  to  obtain  the  object  desired — namely,  security 
against  any  invasion  attempted,  save,  of  course,  one  carried  out 
under  some  combination  of  misfortunes  on  our  side  that  would  render 
resistance  hopeless ;  the  other  teeming  with  a  multitude  of  recom- 
mendations, of  all  kinds  and  sorts,  but  all  alike  tentative  in  character 
as  to  their  ultimate  success,  and  dependent  for  their  practical  value 
on  the  effect  of  sentiment,  '  patriotism  under  encouragement ' ;  and, 


14  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUBY  July 

moreover,  admitted  only  to  produce  a  satisfactory  result  if  the  invader 
is  sufficiently  magnanimous,  benevolent,  high-minded,  and  idiotic, 
to  give  us  a  period  of  from  one  to  two  months'  duration  for  hurry-skurry 
preparation.  If,  thus  favoured  by  fortune,  we  should  be  allowed  to 
'  start  fair,'  we  should  then  have  the  satisfaction  of  knowing  that  we 
were  protected  by  some  300,000  noble  patriots,  quite  competent, 
when  behind  entrenchments  and  hedgerows  in  '  prepared  positions,' 
to  hold  those  positions  against  assault,  if  the  enemy  were  foolish  enough 
to  attack  these  positions  direct ;  but  that  the  patriots  would  be  com- 
petent to  give  a  good  account  of  him  if,  demonstrating  against  them 
so  as  to  hold  them  in  these  positions,  his  highly-trained  and  well-led 
troops  took  to  manoeuvring  in  the  concealed  and  difficult  country 
against  our  defenders,  or  even  what  would  be  the  result  of  our  de- 
fenders issuing  out  of  the  positions  and  trying  to  force  him  back  to 
his  ships  or  into  the  sea,  the  boldest  believer  in  the  power  of 
'  patriotism  under  encouragement '  does  not  dare  to  prophesy.  Per- 
haps these,  however,  are  minor  details. 

But  it  is  impossible  to  let  pass  without  comment  the  evidence 
given  by  Major-General  Sir  Alfred  Turner,  K.C.B.,  who  until  quite 
lately  was  the  Inspector-General  of  the  Auxiliary  Forces.  From  his 
high  official  position,  his  knowledge  of  war,  and  his  admitted  personal 
ability,  the  General  must  be  regarded  as  the  champion  of  the  adver- 
saries of  the  Report,  and  as  the  ablest  exponent  of  the  views  and 
opinions  of  the  anti-compulsory-service  party  ;  and  it  must  be  owned 
that  if  the  cause  he  championed  was  weak,  he  did  all  he  could  to 
make  the  best  of  it.  The  General  was  four  times  before  the 
Commission,  and,  whereas  the  average  number  of  answers  of  the 
other  133  witnesses  was  173,  the  answers  recorded  to  the  General's 
account  are  1,113,  besides  fifteen  memoranda  of  sorts.  It  was  on 
the  8th  of  June  last  year  that  the  General  first  gave  evidence,  and 
it  is  fortunate  that,  when  we  have  to  commence  the  perusal  of 
those  1,113  answers  and  fifteen  memoranda  just  a  year  later,  he 
contributed  to  the  Daily  Express,  almost  simultaneously  with  their 
being  given  to  the  public,  an  article  giving  a  final  summary  of  his 
views ;  so  both  article  and  evidence  may  be  taken  together,  and  the 
work  of  examining  the  latter  is  much  eased  thereby.  I  take  from  the 
article  his  estimate  of  the  maximum  amount  of  training  that  it  is 
possible  for  the  Auxiliary  Forces  to  give  consistently  with  their  '  other 
avocations  in  life.'  He  regards  six  months'  training  of  the  Militia 
in  the  first  year  as  possible  : 

But  I  do  not  think  that  more  than  one  month's  training  for  the  battalion  or 
other  unit  could  be  obtained,  because  officers  who  are  business  and  professional 
men  cannot  possibly  leave  their  work  for  six  months.  This  must  be  obvious  to 
anybody  who  knows  anything  about  professions  or  business.  The  Volunteers 
cannot  do  more  training  than  they  now  do,  and  though  some  battalions — or  at 
least  a  portion  of  them — manage  to  go  into  camp  for  fourteen  days,  the  majority 


1904      OUR   PITIABLE   MILITARY  SITUATION          15 

of  large  employers  of  labour,  and  especially  in  the  North  of  England,  many  of 
whom  have  a  great  number  of  Volunteers  in  their  employ,  cannot  possibly  give 
their  men  more  than  a  week's  leave  at  a  time  to  go  into  camp. 

And  later  on  he  says : 

My  firm  conviction  is  that  shooting  is  by  far  the  most  important  factor  in 
the  defence  of  the  country,  and,  as  I  stated  in  my  evidence  to  the  Commission, 
'Teach  the  men  to  shoot,  and  let  the  Government  support  not  only  the  Volun- 
teers, but  also  the  rifle  clubs  throughout  the  country."  If  this  is  done,  and  the 
youth  of  the  country  are  trained  at  school  as  recommended,  having  regard  to 
our  geographical  position  we  have  all  that  is  necessary  for  home  defence.  This 
is  the  opinion  of  experts  in  Germany  and  France,  whose  people,  owing  to 
the  presence  of  their  powerful  neighbours  close  to  their  frontiers,  are  obliged 
to  bear  the  burden  of  conscription,  which  is  being  felt  more  every  year. 

I  have  had  the  pleasure  of  the  personal  friendship  of  Sir  Alfred  for 
many  years,  and  often  have  we  worked  together  in  Volunteer  instruc- 
tional exercises  at  the  war  game,  but  it  has  been  reserved  for  this 
article  and  the  evidence  to  reveal  to  me  the  astounding  views  held  by 
him  not  only  as  to  the  qualifications  and  training  necessary  for  our  Home 
Defence  Army,  but  also  on  war.  At  the  outset  I  would  remark  that  the 
quoting  of  the  opinions  expressed  to  him  by  foreign  officers,  especially 
when  those  were  German  staff  officers,  reveals  to  me  an  absence  of 
guile  in  the  General's  character  for  which  I  had  not  given  him  credit. 
Is  it  likely  that  the  German  or  the  French  staff  officers  would  endeavour 
to  impress  on  the  mind  of  the  Inspector-General  of  the  Auxiliary 
Forces  of  Great  Britain  their  belief  in  the  inefficiency  of  those  forces  ? 

The  perusal  of  the  General's  evidence  leads  me  to  the  conclusion  that 
he  is  so  firm  a  believer  in  the  Navy  as  our  one  and  only  line  of  defence 
that  the  possession  of  a  land  second  line  of  defence  is  not,  in  his  opinion, 
of  importance,  and  that  this  second  line  is  of  little  more  use  than 
for  show.  Should  the  Navy  fail  us,  almost  an  impossibility  in  his 
opinion,  we  must  at  once  throw  up  the  sponge,  for  he  thinks  there  is 
only  starvation  before  us.  A  few  words  seem  desirable  here  with 
regard  to  the  '  starvation  bogie '  trotted  out  by  the  General.  The 
weak  point  in  accepting  the  starvation  bogie  as  an  ally  either  in 
theory  or  practice  is  that  it  is  so  unreliable  and  so  apt  to  mislead. 
After  Sedan  it  was  the  starvation  theory  applied  to  practice  that 
was  the  foundation  of  the  strategy  adopted  by  Von  Moltke  for  the 
next  series  of  operations.  Paris,  it  was  believed,  could  hold  out  only 
for  eight  days  ;  the  Parisians  would  surrender  as  soon  as,  according  to 
Von  Moltke's  own  recorded  words,  they  had  no  '  fresh  milk.'  But 
when  the  eight  days'  deprivation  of  fresh  milk  did  not  lead  to  sur- 
render, the  calculation  of  resistance  was  extended  to  six  weeks ;  yet 
these  calculations  were  proved  to  be  false,  for  it  was  not  until  more 
than  four  months  of  very  short  commons  had  elapsed  that  starvation, 
combined  with  the  knowledge  that  there  was  no  hope  of  relief  from 
the  provinces,  compelled  the  Parisians  to  surrender ;  and  with  better 


16  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

leading  on  the  French  side,  it  is  indubitable  that  during  that  period  the 
investment  would  have  been  raised  for  a  time  at  all  events.  Dividing 
an  estimated  existing  food  supply  by  the  number  of  mouths  to  eat 
it,  and  accepting  the  dividend  as  the  limit  of  human  endurance,  is 
an  arithmetical  process  that  all  history  shows  to  be  useless  for  the 
practical  purposes  of  war. 

But  the  General  desires  also,   for  some  reason  not  very  clear, 
to  keep  the   Auxiliary  Forces  in  existence  ;   it  is  better,  he   says, 
to  have   them  than  nobody   at   all.      So  the  General    appears  to 
be  on  the  horns   of  a  dilemma,  and  it  was  in  his  endeavour  to 
reconcile  the    two  incompatible  ideas,  an  invincible   fleet   and  the 
maintenance  of  an  auxiliary  force  for  land  home  defence  (a  useless, 
great,  and  wanton  waste  of  money  if  the  fleet  is  invincible,  or  if  the 
moment  it  is  defeated  we  are  starved),  that  the  General  had  such  a 
bad  time  under  the  searching  cross-examination  by  the  Royal  Com- 
missioners, and,  being  driven  from  pillar  to  post,  gave  occasionally 
answers  of  the  most  remarkable  character,  to  my  mind  totally  irre- 
concilable with  his  mental  and  professional  ability.     For  instance, 
he  fully  admitted  the  imperious  necessity  for  making  good  the  great 
deficiency  in  our  supply  of  officers  and  good  non-commissioned  officers, 
a  deficiency  which  might  altogether  disappear  under  the  conditions  of 
universal  liability  to  service,  and  the  formation  of  a  corps  of  well- 
educated  men   analogous  to  the  '  unteroffizier '  of   Germany.     But 
later  on  (Question  21871-3)  his  provision  of  officers  to  make  up  the 
deficiency  in  the  Auxiliary  Forces  is  to  bring  back  to  them  all  the  officers 
who  have  retired  from  the  Regular  and  Auxiliary  Forces.     '  Lists  of 
retired  officers  are  kept  everywhere  ;  I  should  think  that  patriotism 
would  bring  them  all  back  into  the  ranks,  and  I  do  not  think  it  would 
be  necessary  to  have  any  organisation  in  time  of  peace  to  ask  whether 
they  were  or  were  not  coming  back '  !     This  is  a  reversal  of  the  axiom, 
'  if  you  desire  peace,  prepare  for  war,'  with  a  vengeance.     Q.  21884  : 
'  We  must  be  contented  with  the  best  non-commissioned  officers  and 
officers  we  can  get ' ;  and  then  comes  the  height  of  credulity.   Q.  21885  : 
'  I  doubt  very  much  if  the  foreigners  know  these  details — that  we  are 
short  of  officers  ;  I  do  not  think  they  know  much  about  it.     Of  course 
their  Intelligence  Departments  are  remarkably  good,  but  I  doubt  if 
they  go  into  details  of  that  kind.'     The  thought  inevitably  arises  : 
does  the  General,  notwithstanding  his  many  occasions  of  intercourse 
with  the  German  staff,  know  much  about  the  contents  of  the  pigeon- 
holes in  their  offices  ?  And  we  come  across  a  strange  answer  to  Q.  21892  : 
'  Is  not  the  advance  in  enclosed  country  easier  than  an  advance  over 
open  ground  ? — A.  Not  for  trained  troops,  I  should  think.'    Q.  2005 
ran  :  '  I  should  tell  you  that  we  have  it  in  evidence  before  us  that  the 
difficult  nature  of  the  country  would  tell  in  favour  of  the  higher- 
trained  troops,  but  you  do  not  agree  with  that  ? — A.  Not  in  the 
least.'    Again  Q.  2001.    Leading  and  manoeuvring  of  troops  in  an  en- 


1904      OUR   PITIABLE   MILITARY  SITUATION          17 

closed  country  and  a  wooded  country,  and  a  country  where  you  cannot 
see  very  far,  is  almost  '  impossible  for  the  attack.'  And  yet  surely  all 
history  shows  that  in  country  like  this  it  is  individual  intelligence 
combined  with  high  discipline  and  with  efficiency  among  the  very 
lowest  as  well  as  the  highest  leaders  that  tells  in  the  struggle. 

The  General,  in  support  of  his  views,  several  times  refers  to  the  second 
period  of  the  Franco-German  War,  the  period  when  Gambetta  was  in  con- 
trol of  the  provinces  ;  and  I  can  only  say  that,  from  my  own  very  close 
study  of  that  period,  the  conclusions  at  which  I  arrive  as  to  the  value 
of  hastily  raised  auxiliary  troops  differ  very  much  from  his.  The 
remnant  of  the  regular  army  in  France  at  that  time  he  gives  as  30,000  ; 
whilst  Hoenig  estimates  that  there  were  180,000  either  fully  or  partially 
trained.  On  the  Loire,  the  proportion  of  auxiliaries  to  regulars  was 
four  to  five,  and  the  20th  Corps,  in  which  the  Garde  Mobile  outnumbered 
the  regulars  in  the  proportion  of  twenty-two  to  nine,  was  so  utterly 
demoralised  by  its  failure  on  the  only  occasion  when  it  took  the  offen- 
sive that  its  general  reported  it  to  be  useless  for  several  days ;  and  in 
this  corps,  as  in  the  whole  of  the  French  forces,  the  acknowledged 
weak  point  was  the  deficiency  of  good  officers  and  good  non-commis- 
sioned officers.  Yet  the  general  (Q.  21871)  '  looks  with  confidence ' 
to  our  filling  our  cadres  of  officers  in  '  exactly  the  same  way  as 
these  were  filled  in  Gambetta' s  levies.'  In  close  country,  the 
Garde  Mobile  and  Garde  Nationale  did,  it  is  true,  find  some  counter- 
balancing to  their  inherent  weakness,  but  where  these  '  absolutely 
untrained  men,  put  out  in  six  weeks,  made  a  very  stout  fight  against 
the  victorious  and  perfectly  trained  German  army  in  compara- 
tively open  country,'  except  to  be  utterly  defeated,  I  must  leave  the 
General  to  tell  me  ;  I  do  not  know. 

Mere  extracts  from  evidence  are  never  satisfactory,  but  one  more 
must  yet  be  given.  Q.  21894  (Lord  Grenfell) :  '  We  are  assuming 
that  there  is  an  invasion — that  an  invasion  has  taken  place,  as  the 
Duke  said,  and  that  we  have,  say,  150,000  of  the  invader :  Do  you  think 
this  force  [i.e.,  our  auxiliary  forces]  officered  with  the  old  officers  and 
with  the  present  non-commissioned  officers,  would  be  sufficient  ? — 
A.  Yes.'  Q.  21895  :  '  Do  you  mean  the  present  forces,  the  Militia  and 
the  Volunteers  which  are  largely  under-officered  ? — A.  Yes.'  And 
these  answers  in  absolute  opposition  to  those  given  by  Earl  Roberts, 
Sir  T.  Kelly-Kenny,  Sir  John  French,  and  Lord  Methuen,  who  have 
had  personal  experience  of  the  most  modern  war,  and  whose  views 
are  shared  by  Viscount  Wolseley,  Sir  Evelyn  Wood,  and  Sir  W. 
Butler. 

I  again  say  that  it  is  only  by  a  careful  examination  of  the 
evidence  and  memoranda  that  anyone  can  form  a  sound  opinion 
on  the  verdict  given  by  the  Royal  Commission,  and  I  recommend  to 
those  who  are  willing  to  undertake  the  task  the  perusal  of  Sir  Alfred 
Turner's  evidence,  especially  that  portion  given  on  the  20th  of  January 

VOL.  LVI— No.  329  C 


18  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

this  year,  for  it  is  the  most  damnatory  evidence  against  the  acceptance 
of  his  counsel  that  from  our  Auxiliary  Forces  we  should  be  content  to 
accept  as  much  as  we  can  '  expect  from  them '  consistently  with 
their  'other  avocations  in  life.'  In  .his 7answer  to  Q.  21812,  .the 
General  said  that  he  had  been  accused  of  being  a  sort  of  advocatus 
diaboli  of  the  Auxiliary  Forces,  and  that  he  was  perfectly  willing  to 
be  an  advocatus  diaboli  or  anybody  else  if  he  could  do  good.  It 
would  seem  that  he  has  laid  himself  open  to  the  charge  of  assuming 
that  character  during  the  late  inquiry.  Here  I  must  leave  my  friend. 
It  is  much  to  be  regretted  that  in  the  margins  of  the  Majority 
Report  there  are  no  references  indicating  those  passages  in  the  evi- 
dence on  which  the  Commissioners  based  the  conclusions  at  which 
they  arrived ;  for,  buried  deep  down  iu  the  fourth  volume,  are  two 
passages,  each  all-important  and  of  the  weightiest  character.  The 
first  is  to  be  found  at  p.  216.  where,  in  the  summary  of  remarks 
sent  in  by  124  Commanding  Officers  of  Militia  Infantry  units,  we  read 
as  follows : 

It  is  considered  that  the  threat  of  enforcing  the  Ballot  Act  would  render  any 
vital  change  unnecessary : — '  No  doubt  if  the  Ballot  were  hanging  over  the 
employers'  heads  (with  no  exemption)  they  would  encourage  men  to  join  for 
fear  of  themselves  or  their  sons  having  to  serve.  This  would  also  keep  the 
officers'  ranks  filled  ;  and  with  full  Militia  ranks,  well  treated,  there  would  be  no 
lack  of  troops  for  the  Regular  Army.' 

1  If  the  Militia  in  this  country  is  to  be  maintained  on  its  present  establishment, 
it  will  be  necessary  to  introduce  either  further  money  inducements  to  serve  or 
some  form  of  compulsory  service.' 

These  paragraphs  seem  to  clear  the  way  towards  the  solution  of 
the  Militia  question ;  but  the  solution  of  the  problem  how  to  render 
the  Volunteer  Force  efficient  seems  almost  hopeless  when  we  turn  to  the 
summary  of  answers  received  from  218  commanding  officers  of  Infantry 
battalions  of  the  Volunteer  Force,  and  on  p.  263  read  as  follows  : 

Throughout  the  reports  there  is  much  to  show  that  matters  have  come  to  a 
deadlock.  The  necessity  for  stringent  regulations  is  fully  acknowledged,  but  the 
'  remarks  '  are,  in  the  majority  of  cases,  directed  to  showing  how  badly  the  shoe 
pinches.  '  There  is  a  limit  beyond  which  civilians  cannot  be  expected  to  give 
their  services  and  time  to  the  State.  .  .  .  This  limit  has  been  reached,  if  not 
exceeded,  by  the  present  regulations.' 

Here,  again,  are  the  '  gates  of  wood,'  the  '  bricks  without  straw ' 
of  1895,  and  again  I  protest  against  the  contribution  paid  by  myself 
or  others  to  the  public  treasury  being  any  longer  misappropriated  to 
keep  them  going  in  their  present  condition. 

But  what,  to  my  mind,  is  worse  still,  must  also  be  brought  to 
notice.  Not  only  are  the  Volunteers,  as  are  the  Regulars  and  Militia, 
short  of  officers,  but  as  a  body  these  officers  are  lamentably  inefficient. 
In  paragraph  48  of  the  Report  is  written  : 

'  We  have  to  look  to  the  officers  of  the  Volunteer  Force  as  the 


1904      OUR  PITIABLE  MILITARY  SITUATION         19 

framework  of  our  army.  They  are  of  very  unequal  quality.  Many 
of  them  have  given  themselves  an  excellent  military  education,  and 
would  be  a  valuable  element  in  any  army  ;  the  majority,  however,  have 
neither  the  theoretical  knowledge  nor  the  practical  skill  in  the  handling  of 
troops  which  would  make  them  competent  instructors  in  peace  or  leaders 
in  war? 

No,  the  Volunteer  Force  as  it  now  stands  is  but  a  reed  of  the  most 
fragile  and  weak  character  on  which  to  depend  as  the  main  factor  in 
home  defence,  and  the  officer  is  the  weakest  element  in  it ;  and  the 
weakness  seems  irremediable  even  with  the  strongest  encouragement 
to  remedy  it.  As  Colonel  F.  W.  Tannett- Walker,  a  representative  of 
the  Institute  of  Commanding  Officers  of  Volunteers,  said  in  his  answer 
to  Q.  7695  :  '  With  regard  to  the  difficulty  of  getting  officers,  it  really 
seems  to  all  of  us  to  be  almost  an  unsolvable  question.' 

By  all  means  let  us  enrol  in  our  Land  Line  of  Defence  that  small 
minority,  the  very  pick  of  the  Volunteer  Force,  but  to  trust  to  the 
Force  as  a  main  body  in  that  Line  would  be  absolutely  suicidal. 

The  signatories  of  the  minority  reports  decidedly  deserve  our  thanks 
for  suggesting  the  feeble  and  doubtful  remedies  they  put  forward, 
and  which  are  almost  counsels  of  despair.  But  those  Commissioners 
who  signed  the  majority  report  are  deserving  of  all  honour  and  praise  ; 
for  in  this  '  historic '  document  they  have  boldly,  courageously,  and 
patriotically  told  to  their  countrymen  the  real  and  full  truth  as  to  our 
present  pitiable  military  situation.  It  is  for  the  educated  classes  of 
this  country — those  who  have  a  material  stake  in  the  existence  of 
Great  Britain  as  a  great  nation,  the  possessors  of  property,  the  bankers, 
the  merchants,  the  manufacturers — to  study  the  evidence  most  care- 
fully, and  then  to  influence  the  other  classes  to  accept  with  themselves 
the  obligation  common  to  them  one  and  all,  to  render  our  island 
impregnable  to  assault,  no  matter  how  disabled  or  distant  from  us 
for  a  time  may  be  the  deservedly  trusted  first  line  of  defence,  our 
Koyal  Navy. 

LONSDALE  HALE. 


c  2 


20  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 


COMPULSORY  EDUCATION  AND 
COMPULSORY  MILITARY   TRAINING 


UNDOUBTEDLY  the  most  striking  point  in  the  Report  of  the  Royal 
Commission  on  the  Militia  and  Volunteers,  the  point  which  has  roused 
most  public  interest  and  excited  most  controversy,  is  its  practically 
unanimous  finding  that  the  time  has  arrived  for  the  adoption  in  this 
country  of  the  principle  of  '  training  to  arms  the  whole  able-bodied 
male  population.'  Whatever  may  be  the  value  of  the  detailed  sugges- 
tions made  in  the  Report,  it  must  be  admitted  that  this  single  pro- 
nouncement marks  an  important  epoch  in  the  history  of  our  military 
system,  not  because  it  is  likely  to  receive  immediate  application,  but 
because  this  is  the  first  time  an  official  body,  after  a  long  and  searching 
inquiry,  entered  upon  and  conducted  without  any  suspicion  of  bias  or 
prejudice,  has  reported  definitely  in  favour  of  the  principle  of  com- 
pulsion. 

The  Report  has  been  attacked  from  many  sides,  and  among  others 
upon  the  ground  that  the  Commissioners  have  gone  outside  their 
reference.  The  complaint  is  made  that  they  were  instructed  merely 
to  report  upon  the  measures  necessary  to  render  the  existing  system 
more  efficient,  and  not  to  propose  revolutionary  changes  which  would 
entirely  subvert  it.  In  the  long  run  the  country  is  more  likely  to 
approve  of  the  courage  than  to  blame  the  temerity  of  the  Duke  of 
Norfolk  and  his  colleagues  for  following  the  evidence  brought  before 
them  down  to  the  root  principles  and  fundamental  conditions  which 
underlie  any  and  every  adequate  system  of  national  defence. 

It  is  not  proposed  in  this  article  to  deal  with  the  purely  military 
criticisms  which  have  been  levelled  against  the  adoption  of  universal 
military  training  as  suggested  in  the  Report.  Many  such  criticisms 
are  marked  by  a  curious  insularity  of  view  and  by  a  very  inadequate 
appreciation  of  the  wider  aspects  of  our  imperial  responsibilities.  It 
will  be  time  enough,  however,  to  consider  them  when  the  Committee 
of  Defence  has  made  up  its  mind  as  to  what  are  the  naval  and  military 
requirements  of  the  United  Kingdom  and  of  the  Empire,  and  Mr. 
Arnold-Forster  has  produced  his  scheme  of  Army  reorganisation. 
One  may  say  in  general  terms  that  it  seems  unlikely  that  we  can,  under 


1804          COMPULSORY  MILITARY  TRAINING  21 

any  circumstances,  much  longer  resist  the  influences  which  have  forced 
every  other  European  country  to  substitute  a  mainly  national  for  a 
wholly  professional  army.  It  is,  of  course,  admitted  that  our  circum- 
stances differ  from  theirs,  and  that  our  needs  and  dangers  are  other 
than  theirs. 

While  their  military  systems  are  based  upon  the  assumption  that 
they  will  have  to  defend  compact  territories,  we  are  called  upon  to 
defend  widely  scattered  oversea  possessions  ;  while  the  vast  majority 
of  their  land  force  must  always  serve  at  home,  a  very  large  proportion 
of  ours,  even  in  times  of  peace,  must  serve  abroad.  In  our  case 
naval  forces,  in  theirs  land  forces,  form  the  predominant  element  in 
schemes  of  home  defence.  No  one  imagines  that  we  need  the  same 
sort  of  military  organisation  or  so  large  a  war  establishment  for  home 
defence  as  is  necessary  in  Continental  countries,  while  it  is  universally 
acknowledged  that  our  army  for  foreign  service  must  always  be  a 
voluntarily  recruited  army.  But  all  these  differences  are  really 
arguments,  not  against  deepening  and  widening  the  sources  from 
which  our  actual  military  requirements  must  ultimately  be  supplied,  but 
solely  against  any  wholesale  imitation  of  Continental  methods.  There 
is,  it  is  true,  no  similarity  between  their  circumstances  and  ours,  but 
there  is  the  closest  possible  likeness  between  the  magnitude  of  our 
respective  responsibilities  and  dangers.  They  have  been  driven,  by 
menace  to  their  national  existence,  to  base  their  military  systems 
upon  the  training  to  arms  of  their  whole  male  population.  The  details 
they  have  worked  out  according  to  their  individual  requirements. 
We  are  being  impelled  in  exactly  the  same  direction  by  the  rapid 
growth  of  our  imperial  responsibilities,  and  the  acknowledged  difficulty 
of  meeting  sudden  dangers  abroad  and  at  home  with  an  army  recruited 
solely  by  voluntary  enlistment.  The  practice  of  voluntary  enlistment 
answered  its  purpose  when  only  a  small  army  was  needed.  Its  diffi- 
culties began  when  larger  claims  were  made  upon  it ;  at  the  present 
time  we  see  it  strained  to  its  utmost  limit.  With  the  inexorable  fact 
before  us  that,  owing  to  political  changes  in  the  world  about  us 
which  we  are  powerless  to  control,  steadily  increasing  demands  will 
be  made  upon  it  in  the  future,  the  probability  of  its  breakdown  becomes 
a  practical  certainty.  When  that  breakdown  is  officially  acknow- 
ledged, and  we  resort  to  some  form  of  compulsion,  we  shall  have 
exactly  the  same  liberty  to  adapt  and  mould  the  compulsory  system 
to  our  special  national  requirements  as  was  enjoyed  by  our  neigh- 
bours. 

I  have  said  we  are  being  driven  in  this  direction  by  the  growth  of 
our  imperial  responsibilities.  I  wonder  whether  we  realise  how  much 
we  are  also  being  influenced  by  the  pressure  of  European  public 
opinion.  When  all  European  armies  were  professional  or  mercenary 
armies,  we  were  all  on  the  same  footing,  but  since  the  epoch  of  national 
armies  on  the  Continent  the  obligation  of  personal  service  in  defence 


22  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUET  July 

of  the  fatherland  has  become  an  obligation  every  man  feels  it  his  duty 
to  fulfil,  and  no  man  desires  to  avoid.  In  our  own  time  a  great  change 
has  come  over  public  feeling  with  regard  to  this  question  in  Conti- 
nental countries.  There  was  a  time  when  young  men  sought  to  evade 
the  duty  of  military  service,  when  they  preferred  to  cross  the  sea  to 
England  and  America,  even  if  such  flight  involved  perpetual  banish- 
ment ;  but  gradually  such  evasions  have  become  rarer  and  rarer. 
To-day  they  are  condemned  by  public  opinion,  and  are  of  compara- 
tively infrequent  occurrence.  A  couple  of  generations  have  sufficed 
to  remove  the  grievance  and  to  accustom  the  minds  of  young  citizens 
to  look  upon  military  service  as  one  of  the  duties  of  life,  which  is  per- 
formed quietly,  naturally,  and  without  heroics.  One  of  the  conse- 
quences of  the  change  is  that  our  neighbours  are  beginning  to  look 
down  upon  us  for  our  avoidance  of  what  appears  to  them  a  natural 
obligation  to  the  State.  We  hardly  understand  how  deep  this 
sentiment  is  in  their  minds.  We  are  generally  inclined  to  think  any 
ill-feeling  they  may  entertain  towards  us  is  compounded  of  ignorance 
and  envy.  I  fear  there  is  in  it  more  than  a  spice  of  contempt.  And 
the  greater  our  prosperity,  the  more  splendid  our  Empire,  the  stronger 
is  the  conviction  on  their  part  that  our  power  abroad  is  maintained 
and  our  security  at  home  is  guaranteed,  not  by  the  personal  service 
and  personal  sacrifice  of  every  individual  citizen,  but  by  a  system 
which  permits  and  encourages  the  majority  to  cast  its  burden  and 
delegate  its  duties  to  a  very  small  minority. 

To  many  of  us  this  question  of  compulsory  military  training  is 
much  larger  than  a  purely  military  question,  and  should  be  discussed 
upon  broader  and  more  general  lines,  upon  the  basis  of  national  well- 
being  as  well  as  of  national  safety.  The  army  of  a  modern  State  has 
ceased  to  be  a  mere  fighting  machine,  created  and  maintained  for 
defence  or  aggression.  It  performs  two  distinct  functions  which  it  is 
important  to  keep  clear  and  separate  in  our  minds.  It  is  primarily  a 
great  instrument  of  national  defence,  but  it  is  also  the  nation's  chief 
school  of  physical  training  and  moral  discipline.  Discipline  and 
physical  fitness  lie  at  the  very  root  of  national  efficiency,  and  it  is 
because  we  see  in  universal  compulsory  military  training  one  of  the 
main  routes  which  lead  to  national  efficiency  that  we  should  continue 
to  advocate  it,  even  if  our  military  requirements  were  less  pressing  than 
they  are. 

The  object  of  the  present  writer  is  to  examine  briefly  a  few  of  the 
objections  which  are  urged  against  it,  not  from  the  military,  but  from 
the  industrial  and  social  side,  and  to  endeavour  to  show  that  they  do 
not  possess  anything  like  the  weight  which  is  commonly  attributed  to- 
them. 

What  are  these  objections  ? 

It  is  asserted  that  compulsory  military  training  involves  '  deplorable 
economic  waste,'  inasmuch  as  it  withdraws  young  men  for  a  time 


1904         COMPULSORY  MILITARY  TRAINING  28 

from  the  pursuit  of  industries ;  that  it  dislocates  industrial  life,  and 
would  never  be  accepted  by  employers ;  and  further,  the  fear  is  ex- 
pressed that,  if  it  were  adopted,  it  would  bring  with  it  all  the  admitted 
evils  of  Continental  conscription  and  the  barrack  system. 

Taking  these  assertions  in  their  order,  it  may  first  of  all  be  asked 
whether,  in  the  long  run,  any  economic  waste  is  incurred  by  interrupting 
for  a  time  the  industrial  occupations  of  young  men  and  submitting 
them  to  a  careful  course  of  physical  and  military  training.  We  have 
an  idea  in  this  country  that  there  is  some  superior  cleverness  or  wisdom 
on  our  part  in  keeping  the  whole  youthful  male  population  uninter- 
ruptedly engaged  in  the  production  of  wealth,  while  our  neighbours 
have  to  take  a  year  or  two  out  of  the  lives  of  their  able-bodied  sons. 
There  is  a  suspicious  reminder  in  this  view  of  a  state  of  public  opinion 
now  gone  by,  which  in  the  name  of  industry  drove  children  of  tender 
years  into  the  factory,  and  which  till  quite  lately,  in  the  same  cause, 
permitted  and  almost  encouraged  them  to  leave  school  at  an  earlier 
age  than  the  children  of  any  other  enlightened  people.  The  truism 
that  the  strength  of  a  nation  does  not  lie  in  the  amount  of  wealth  it 
produces,  but  in  the  physical  vigour  and  trained  intelligence  of  its 
people,  can  never  cease  to  be  one  of  the  most  vital  of  truths.  As  a 
matter  of  fact,  the  European  country  in  which  military  service  is 
most  strictly  enforced  is  the  very  country  which  has  increased  most 
rapidly  in  wealth,  and  has  become  our  most  formidable  industrial 
rival. 

German  writers  and  public  men,  while  admitting  certain  incidental 
drawbacks,  not  only  refuse  to  allow  that  military  service  is  an  economic 
burden  to  their  country,  but  declare  that  its  educational  and  dis- 
ciplinary value  are  among  the  principal  causes  of  Germany's  progress 
and  success.  I  think  this  view  is  shared  by  the  majority  of  those  in 
this  country  who  have  an  intimate  knowledge  of  international  labour 
conditions.  My  own  experience  as  an  employer  of  labour  in  England, 
and  as  a  director  of  British  undertakings,  which  have  in  their  service 
thousands  of  skilled  and  unskilled  workmen  on  the  Continent  of 
Europe,  in  Austria,  Bohemia,  Germany,  Belgium,  France,  and  Italy, 
enables  me  to  say,  without  any  hesitation,  that  military  training  in 
the  countries  where  it  is  practised  has  not  only  a  high  physical  and 
moral,  but  an  appreciable  and  calculable  financial  value,  which  varies 
in  direct  proportion  to  the  thoroughness  and  strictness  with  which  it 
is  carried  out. 

The  loss  of  time  involved  in  submitting  every  able-bodied  male 
to,  say,  a  year's  military  training  is  more  than  counterbalanced  by  the 
extraordinary  improvement  in  national  physique,  and  by  the  acquisi- 
tion of  habits  of  ready  obedience,  attention,  and  combined  action, 
which  have  so  high  an  importance  in  industrial  life.  Even  if  some 
economic  sacrifice  were  called  for,  it  would  surely  be  worth  any  country's 
while  to  make  it,  in  order  to  arrest  that  physical  deterioration  which 


24  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  July 

follows  the  flocking  of  population  into  towns.  No  country  is  more 
exposed  to  the  danger  of  physical  deterioration  than  our  own,  both 
absolutely  and  relatively,  for  here,  more  rapidly  than  elsewhere,  the 
urban  districts  are  growing  at  the  expense  of  the  rural.  All  the 
nations  of  Europe  are  giving  systematic  physical  training  to  their 
whole  male  population  (for  every  conscript  has  to  pass  through  the 
gymnasium),  with  the  best  possible  results.  In  England  physical 
education  among  the  masses  stands  very  much  where  education  in 
general  stood  before  the  Act  of  1870 :  that  is  to  say,  it  can  be  obtained 
by  those  who  have  money  to  pay  for  it,  but,  in  spite  of  considerable 
recent  improvements,  it  does  not  form  an  integral  and  obligatory  part 
of  our  national  educational  system.  It  is  useless  to  delude  ourselves 
with  the  idea  that  the  national  love  of  games  is  so  strong  that  it  is 
not  necessary  to  give  physical  exercise  a  serious  place  in  the  curri- 
culum of  our  elementary  schools.  We  do  not  act  upon  this  view  in 
the  case  of  the  only  class  of  whom  it  might  possibly  be  true,  for  the 
boys  and  young  men  of  the  richer  classes  are  taught  games  with  at 
least  as  much  care  as  they  are  taught  languages  and  mathematics. 
Experience  shows  that  among  the  population  of  our  large  industrial 
towns,  owing,  no  doubt,  mainly  to  the  absence  of  opportunity,  the 
slightest  desire  for  active  physical  exercise  is  rather  the  exception 
than  the  rule.  For  every  youth  who  plays  football,  a  hundred  prefer 
to  look  on,  with  their  hands  in  their  pockets,  at  a  match  between  pro- 
fessional players.  In  any  case,  spasmodic  efforts  to  popularise  games 
among  the  working  classes  can  no  more  supply  the  need  for  national 
physical  training  than  the  night  schools  and  Sunday  schools  which 
preceded  the  Act  of  1870  could  supply  the  place  of  compulsory  ele- 
mentary education.  If  we  persist  in  pitting  our  haphazard  methods 
against  the  carefully  reasoned  and  elaborately  organised  systems  of 
OUT  neighbours,  we  must  relatively  decline  in  physical  fitness.  It  is 
only  a  question  of  time.  When  none  were  trained,  our  racial  gifts, 
our  climate,  even  our  national  food,  gave  us  a  certain  physical  pre- 
eminence ;  but  natural  gifts,  however  great,  natural  predispositions, 
however  strong,  cannot  in  the  long  run  take  the  place  of  careful  pro- 
fessional training. 

It  is  easy  to  level  the  accusation  of  '  economic  waste  '  against  the 
military  systems  of  the  Continent,  but  surely  the  most  deplorable  of 
all  waste  is  to  be  found  in  the  condition  of  the  '  slum '  population  of 
our  large  cities.  Any  system  which  helped  to  restore  these  physic- 
ally degraded  people  to  a  more  vigorous  state  of  mind  and  body  would, 
to  say  the  least  of  it,  have  a  high  economic  value.  By  the  adoption 
of  any  form  of  compulsory  military  training,  whether  it  be  that  of 
the  Commission's  Report  or  other  more  simple  plans,  we  should  be 
able  to  pass  every  individual  under  review,  exercise  control  over  him 
at  a  critical  period  of  his  life,  with  the  result  that  many  depressing 
social  problems,  which  at  present  we  are  afraid  to  tackle,  would  find 


1904         COMPULSORY  MILITARY  TRAINING  25 

a  comparatively  easy  solution.  Some  such  change  would  seem  to  be 
called  for  in  the  interests  of  public  health  and  national  efficiency, 
even  if  it  were  not  necessary  for  purposes  of  national  defence. 

So  far  as  the  employers  of  this  country  are  concerned,  all  the 
evidence  goes  to  prove  that  the  larger  and  more  intelligent  of  them 
would  welcome  a  rational  system  of  military  training.  No  class  is 
in  a  better  position  to  appreciate  the  importance  of  physical  vigour 
and  an  alert  habit  of  mind  on  the  part  of  all  classes  engaged  in  industry. 
Forty  years  ago  Sir  Joseph  Whit  worth,  with  unrivalled  experience, 
wrote  :  '  The  labour  of  a  man  who  has  gone  through  a  course  of  military 
drill  is  worth  eighteen  pence  a  week  more  than  that  of  one  untrained, 
as  through  the  training  received  in  military  drill  men  learn  ready 
obedience,  attention,  and  combined  action,  all  of  which  are  so  necessary 
in  work  where  men  have  to  act  promptly  and  together.'  The  informa- 
tion supplied  by  the  Inspector-General  of  Recruiting  with  regard  to 
the  physical  fitness  of  those  who  present  themselves  for  admission 
into  the  Army  is  quite  as  interesting  to  the  employer  of  labour  as  it 
is  to  the  soldier.  Each  has  to  deal  with  the  same  material,  though  for  a 
different  purpose — the  one  for  the  defence  of  our  national  trade,  the 
other  for  the  defence  of  our  imperial  territories.  The  very  high  per- 
centage of  those  willing  to  enlist  in  our  large  cities,  who  are  rejected 
on  account  of  their  lack  of  stamina  and  other  physical  defects,  is  as 
disquieting  and  painful  a  subject  for  reflection  to  the  patriotic  employer 
as  to  the  soldier. 

All  classes  of  employers  would  very  properly  insist  that  any  system 
adopted  should  be  entirely  democratic  in  its  character  and  should  be 
of  universal  application.  What  they  would  resent  and  resist  is  a  law 
which  exposed  them  to  the  unfairness  and  caprice  of  the  ballot,  which 
might  by  pure  chance  deprive  one  employer  of  a  large  proportion  of 
the  younger  members  of  his  staff,  while  it  left  a  neighbour — and 
perhaps  rival — practically  untouched. 

With  regard  to  the  dislocation  of  industrial  life  which  many  people 
fear,  it  must  be  remembered  that  it  is  only  at  the  outset  that  its  effects 
would,  if  ever,  be  severely  felt.  Any  plan  likely  to  be  adopted  in  this 
country  would  only  come  gradually  into  effect.  The  practice  of 
carrying  out  national  measures  upon  a  local  basis  would,  no  doubt, 
be  followed  in  military  training  exactly  as  it  is  in  education.  Our 
industries  would  speedily  adapt  themselves  to  the  new  conditions, 
just  as  they  have  adapted  themselves  to  the  successive  shortening  of 
the  hours  of  labour  and  the  increasing  stringency  of  the  Factory  Acts. 
We  see  no  decrease  of  industrial  efficiency  in  France  or  Germany,  and 
no  serious  annual  dislocation  of  business  through  the  action  of  a  military 
system  far  more  penetrating  and  disturbing  than  anyone  would  dream 
of  suggesting  for  this  country.  Employers  and  employed  have 
accepted  it  as  a  condition  of  life  like  any  other,  and  have  moulded 
their  business  arrangements  to  meet  its  requirements.  And  so  it 


26  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

would  be  here.  It  is  impossible  to  suppose  that  our  industrial  organisa- 
tion is  so  delicately  poised  that  it  could  not  stand  readjustments 
which  have  been  found  entirely  innocuous  in  other  countries. 

Much  of  the  prejudice  which  exists  amongst  us  against  compulsory 
military  training  is  due  to  misconceptions  and  to  well-worn  traditions 
with  regard  to  the  evil  consequences  of  conscription  and  barrack  life. 
The  use  of  the  word  '  conscription  '  has  really  confused  and  prejudged 
the  question.  It  is  indeed  a  curious  instance  of  the  tyranny  of  a  word. 
As  a  matter  of  fact,  there  need  be  no  question  of  conscription  in  these 
islands.  It  is  a  system  which  foreign  countries  have  found  themselves 
compelled  to  adopt,  but  there  is  no  reason  why  any  plan  of  ours  should 
conform  to  the  prevalent  Continental  type.  There  is,  on  the  contrary, 
every  reason  why  it  should  not. 

The  problem  which  at  present  confronts  us  differs  fundamentally 
from  that  with  which  our  neighbours  have  had  to  deal.  To  them 
the  problem  is  entirely  military.  They  require  a  nation  trained  to 
arms  to  resist  foreign  invasion.  Military  training  and  military  service 
are  one  and  the  same  thing,  and  every  trained  man  belongs  to  the 
national  army.  Conscription  and  life  in  barracks  are  essential  parts 
of  the  system.  With  us  the  problem  is  partly  educational,  partly 
military. 

We  need  to  train  our  young  men  in  order  to  raise  the  level  of  physical 
fitness  of  the  nation  for  the  ordinary  avocations  of  life,  as  well  as  to 
prepare  them  to  take  part  in  the  defence  of  their  country,  if  occasion 
should  arise ;  but  though  all  would  receive  a  measure  of  military 
training,  all  would  not  serve. 

With  our  army  voluntarily  enlisted  for  oversea  service  and  for 
foreign  expeditions,  and  with  our  fleet  as  the  first  line  of  home  defence, 
we  have  no  use  for  the  vast  number  of  men  which  conscription  would 
bring  to  the  colours.  We  do,  however,  need  behind  our  permanent 
forces  a  nation  so  far  trained  to  arms  and  accustomed  to  discipline 
as  to  constitute  a  great  reserve,  which  can  be  largely  relied  upon  for 
home  defence,  and  to  which  we  can  confidently  appeal  in  times  of 
crisis  for  any  number  of  volunteers  for  foreign  service. 

I  see  no  reason  why  this  preliminary  military  training  of  the 
nation  should  not  be  effected  without  any  serious  disturbance  of  our 
existing  industrial  system,  and  without  incurring  any  of  the  objections 
which  can  be  brought  against  conscription. 

The  problem  can  probably  be  approached  most  safely  and  with 
the  best  chance  of  success  from  the  educational  side.  The  principle 
of  compulsion  has  been  accepted  with  regard  to  education,  and  the 
public  mind  has  become  accustomed  to  it.  We  should,  I  think,  follow 
the  line  of  least  resistance  by  grafting  military  training  upon  our 
existing  educational  system,  instead  of  starting  from  a  new  point  of 
departure. 

My  proposal  is  briefly  as  follows  : — Military  or  naval  training 


1904         COMPULSORY  MILITARY  TRAINING  27 

should  be  made  compulsory  for  every  able-bodied  youth  between  the 
ages  of,  say,  fifteen  and  nineteen,  as  a  branch  of  or  as  a  continuation 
of  ordinary  education.  In  working  out  the  details  existing  educa- 
tional machinery  should  be  closely  followed.  Military  training  would 
rank  as  an  additional  branch  beside  elementary,  secondary,  and 
technical  education,  being  most  nearly  allied,  by  its  compulsory 
character,  to  elementary  education.  The  duty  of  carrying  out  the 
law  should  be  imposed  upon  the  local  authority — the  county  or  borough 
council — acting  through  a  special  committee  appointed  ad  hoc,  whose 
duty  it  would  be  to  furnish,  out  of  funds  provided  from  imperial 
sources,  all  the  necessary  expenses  for  instructors,  drill-grounds,  and 
possibly  accoutrements  and  ranges.  The  committee  would  see  to 
the  enforcement  of  the  law,  and  for  that  purpose  would  have  in  its 
service  drill  attendance  officers,  just  as  the  present  authorities  employ 
school  attendance  officers.  The  War  Office  would  either  act  alone  or 
would  co-operate  with  the  Board  of  Education  in  drawing  up,  and 
from  time  to  time  revising,  the  scheme  of  military  training  and  in  pro- 
viding— probably  from  the  district  headquarters — the  necessary  staff  of 
drill  instructors  and  inspectors.  The  whole  system  would  rest  upon  a 
purely  local  basis,  like  any  other  branch  of  education.  All  lads,  until 
they  attained  the  age  of  nineteen  and  reached  a  fixed  standard  of 
efficiency,  would  have  to  submit  to  the  prescribed  course  of  training 
in  the  locality  where  they  for  the  time  being  happened  to  be.  This 
would  not  cause  any  serious  disturbance  to  industrial  life,  and  could 
probably  be  carried  out  in  the  case  of  the  vast  mass  of  the  population 
during  the  abundant  leisure  which  is  now  at  the  disposal  of  all  classes. 
If  any  difficulty  should  arise,  in  order  to  meet  it,  there  would  be  little 
objection  to  a  further  slight  shortening  of  the  legal  hours  during  which 
'  young  persons  '  may  be  employed. 

It  is  not  contended  that  this  plan  would  solve  any  of  our  purely 
military  problems ;  but  if  rigorously  carried  out  it  would  contribute 
decisively  to  the  physical  regeneration  of  our  people,  and  would 
speedily  provide  an  abundance  of  raw  material  from  which  military 
experts  should  be  able  to  build  up  adequately  the  defences  of  the 
Empire.  Moreover,  by  accustoming  boys  to  martial  exercises  and 
military  discipline  it  would  make  the  Army  a  more  popular  career 
for  the  many  adventurous  spirits  our  race  will  always  produce,  and 
would  thereby  set  a  limit  to  the  chronic  difficulty  of  recruiting  for 
the  Regular  Forces. 

HENRY  BIRCHENOUGH. 


28  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 


HOW  JAPAN   REFORMED    HERSELF 

'  IT  is  a  well-known  characteristic  of  mankind  to  despise  what  they 
do  not  know.  For  this  reason  the  Japanese,  until  quite  recently, 
looked  down  upon  foreigners  as  barbarians.  But  the  foreigners  dis- 
play the  same  mental  attitude  which  formerly  distinguished  the 
Japanese.  They  do  not  know  what  to  them  is  a  foreign  country — 
Japan.' 

It  is  a  good  many  years  ago  since  Fukuzawa  Yukichi,  perhaps 
the  foremost  Japanese  educationalist  of  modern  times,  wrote  these 
words,  and  since  then  the  world  has  learned  to  respect  and  to  admire 
Japan  for  her  splendid  achievements  in  every  province  of  human 
activity.  But  the  world  still  believes  that  the  reform  of  Japan  is  a 
thing  of  yesterday,  a  mushroom  growth  which  has  sprung  up  over- 
night, and  which,  as  we  are  told,  may  disappear  as  suddenly  as  it 
came  when  '  the  Asiatic '  reasserts  himself,  tears  up  his  European 
clothes,  like  the  monkey  in  the  fable,  and  returns  to  his  native  ways. 

In  reality,  the  foundation  on  which  the  magnificent  edifice  of 
modern  Japan  has  been  erected  with  marvellous  skill  and  unparalleled 
rapidity  was  laid  at  a  time  when  Europe  was  still  in  swaddling  clothes, 
and  successive  generations  have  added  stone  by  stone  to  the  building, 
which,  with  the  adaptation  of  European  civilisation,  received  its 
natural  completion.  The  rise  of  modern  Japan  may  seem  like  a  fairy 
tale  to  the  superficial  observer  in  Europe  or  America,  but  to  the 
Japanese  themselves  the  reform  of  their  country  appears  natural  in 
view  of  its  history,  character,  and  traditions. 

If  we  wish  to  understand  how  and  why  Japan  succeeded  in  carrying 
out  perhaps  the  most  marvellous  reformation  which  any  empire  has 
ever  effected,  in  order  to  gauge  what  are  her  aims  and  what  her  future 
will  be,  we  must  study  her  progress  and  her  reformation  from  Japanese 
sources.  Such  study  will  reveal  the  fact  that  Europe  and  America 
can  now  learn  quite  as  much  from  Japan  as  she  has  learned  from 
them  in  the  past. 

Twenty  years  ago,  when  Japan  seemed,  in  European  eyes,  no 
greater  than  Siam  or  Liberia,  Fukuzawa  Yukichi  said  : 

Though  we  learned  the  art  of  navigation  during  the  last  twenty  years,  it  is 
neither  within  the  last  twenty  years,  nor  within  the  last  200  years,  that  we 
cultivated  and  trained  our  intellect  so  as  to  enable  us  to  learn  that  art.  That 


1904         HOW  JAPAN  REFORMED   HERSELF  29 

continued  training  is  characteristic  of  Japanese  civilisation,  and  can  be  traced 
back  hundreds  and  thousands  of  years,  and  for  that  continuity  of  effort  we  ought 
to  be  thankful  to  our  ancestors. 

We  have  never  been  backward  or  lacking  in  civilisation  and  progress.  What 
we  wanted  was  only  to  adapt  the  outward  manifestations  of  our  civilisation  to 
the  requirements  of  the  time.  Therefore,  let  us  study  not  only  navigation,  but 
every  other  branch  of  European  knowledge  and  civilisation,  however  trifling  it 
may  be,  and  adopt  what  is  useful,  leaving  alone  what  is  useless.  Thus  shall  we 
fortify  our  national  power  and  well-being. 

On  the  great  stage  of  the  world,  where  all  men  can  see,  we  mean  to  show 
what  we  can  do,  and  vie  with  other  nations  in  all  arts  and  sciences.  Thus 
shall  we  make  our  country  great  and  independent.  This  is  my  passionate  desire. 

Fukuzawa  Yukicbi  and  the  other  great  reformers  of  his  time  have 
now  succeeded  in  carrying  out  their  ardent  ambition,  and  have  raised 
their  country  to  the  eminent  position  in  the  world  which  is  its  due. 
Now  let  us  take  a  rapid  glance  at  old  Japan,  and  then  watch  its  trans- 
formation and  modernisation. 

The  early  history  of  Japan  is  wrapped  in  obscurity,  but  from  the 
fact  that  the  present  Emperor  comes  from  a  dynasty  which,  in  un- 
broken succession,  has  governed  the  country  for  more  than  2,500  years, 
we  may  assume  that  the  Japanese  were  a  politically  highly  organised, 
well-ordered,  and,  therefore,  a  highly  cultured  people  centuries  before 
the  time  of  Alexander  the  Great.  Seven  centuries  before  Christ 
Japan  was  already  a  seafaring  nation,  for  Japanese  ships  went  over 
to  Corea.  In  the  year  86  B.C.  the  Emperor  Sujin  had  the  first  census 
of  the  population  taken,  and  in  645  the  Emperor  Kotoku  ordered 
that  regular  census  registers  should  be  compiled  every  six  years.  In 
Great  Britain  we  find  that  only  in  1801,  and  after  much  obstruction 
and  opposition,  was  the  first  census  taken.  Japan's  first  regular 
postal  service  was  established  in  the  year  202,  and  was  perfected  in 
later  centuries. 

The  great  renaissance  of  Japan  took  place  in  the  seventh  and 
eighth  centuries,  or  several  hundred  years  before  William  the  Con- 
queror. Prince  Shotoku  initiated  that  period  of  splendid  and  universal 
progress.  He  organised  the  administrative  system  of  the  country, 
and  he  created  that  spirit  of  Japan  which  combines  absolute  fear- 
lessness, patriotism,  and  the  keenest  sense  of  personal  honour  with 
unselfishness,  unfailing  courtesy,  gentleness,  and  obedience  to  autho- 
rity. The  following  rules  of  political  conduct  laid  down  by  the  Prince 
during  a  time  of  disorder  have  been,  and  still  are,  the  Ten  Com- 
mandments of  the  Japanese,  and  were  spoken  of  as  The  Constitution  : 

.  .  .  Concord  and  harmony  are  priceless  ;  obedience  to  established  principles 
is  the  first  duty  of  man.  But  in  our  country  each  section  of  people  has  its  own 
views,  and  few  possess  the  light.  Disloyalty  to  Sovereign  and  parents,  disputes 
among  neighbours,  are  the  results.  That  the  upper  classes  should  be  in  unity 
among  themselves,  and  intimate  with  the  lower,  and  that  all  matters  in  dispute 
should  be  submitted  to  arbitration — that  is  the  way  to  place  Society  on  a  basis 
of  strict  justice. 


30  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

Imperial  edicts  must  be  respected.  The  Sovereign  is  to  be  regarded  as  the 
heaven,  his  subjects  as  the  earth  ....  so  the  Sovereign  shows  the  way,  the 
subject  follows  it.  Indifference  to  the  Imperial  edicts  signifies  national  ruin. 

Courtesy  must  be  the  rule  of  conduct  for  all  ministers  and  officials  of  the 
Government.  Social  order  and  due  distinctions  between  the  classes  can  only 
be  preserved  by  strict  conformity  with  etiquette. 

To  punish  the  evil  and  reward  the  good  is  humanity's  best  law.  A  good  deed 
should  never  be  left  unrewarded  or  an  evil  unrebuked.  Sycophancy  and  dis- 
honesty are  the  most  potent  factors  for  subverting  the  State  and  destroying  the 
people. 

To  be  just,  one  must  have  faith.  Every  affair  demands  a  certain  measure  of 
faith  on  the  part  of  those  who  deal  with  it.  Every  question,  whatever  its  nature 
or  tendency,  requires  for  its  settlement  an  exercise  of  faith  and  authority. 
Mutual  confidence  among  officials  renders  all  things  possible  of  accomplishment  ; 
want  of  confidence  between  sovereign  and  subject  makes  failure  inevitable. 

Anger  should  be  curbed  and  wrath  cast  away.  The  faults  of  another  should 
not  cause  our  resentment. 

To  chide  a  fault  does  not  prevent  its  repetition,  nor  can  the  censor  himself 
be  secure  from  error.  The  sure  road  to  success  is  that  trodden  by  the  people  in 
unison. 

Those  in  authority  should  never  harbour  hatred  or  jealousy  of  one  another. 
Hate  begets  hate  and  jealousy  is  blind. 

The  imperative  duty  of  man  in  his  capacity  of  a  subject  is  to  sacrifice  his 
private  interest  to  the  public  good.  Egoism  forbids  co-operation,  and  without 
co-operation  there  cannot  be  any  great  achievement. 

These  lines,  which  were  written  about  600  A.D.  ,  or  thirteen  hundred 
years  ago,  and  which  have  the  sublime  ring  of  inspiration  about  them, 
explain  the  mystery  of  the  Japanese  character  better  than  a  lengthy 
account  of  Japan's  history,  philosophy,  and  customs.  When  we  re- 
member that  these  principles  have  continuously  been  taught  in  Japan 
during  more  than  forty  generations,  we  can  understand  the  character 
and  spirit  of  the  country,  to  which  it  owes  its  magnificent  successes. 
When  we  read  these  lines  we  can  realise  that  Fukuzawa  Yukichi's 
claim  to  an  old  civilisation  was  not  a  hollow  boast,  and  we  can  com- 
prehend why  the  passionate  ambition  to  elevate  their  country  animates 
every  thinking  Japanese  from  the  prince  to  the  peasant.  These 
guiding  principles  show  us  the  moral  and  mental  foundation  of  Japan, 
and  enable  us  to  understand  why  the  Japanese  officials  are  the  flower 
of  the  nation,  why  class  jealousy  is  absent  in  Japan,  and  why  Japan 
is  the  only  country  in  the  world  where,  regardless  of  birth,  wealth, 
and  connections,  all  careers  and  the  very  highest  offices  in  the  land 
are  open  to  all  comers. 

These  principles  of  political  conduct,  which  might  have  been 
drawn  up  by  a  Lycurgus  or  a  Solon,  explain  the  wonderful  unity  of 
purpose,  courage,  self-reliance,  self-discipline,  homogeneity,  and  pat- 
riotism of  the  Japanese  nation  which  at  present  astonish  the  world ; 
and  it  seems  that  Japan  owes  her  greatness  and  success  less  to  the 
superior  will-power  and  to  the  inborn  genius  of  the  individual  Japanese 
than  to  the  traditional  education  of  the  character  of  the  nation,  in 


1904         HOW  JAPAN  REFORMED   HERSELF  81 

which  the  educational  ideas  of  Athens  and  Sparta  are  harmoniously 
blended.  British  education  rightly  attaches  great  weight  to  the 
formation  of  character,  but  it  would  seem  that  British  educationalists, 
in  the  highest  sense  of  the  word,  can  learn  more  from  Japan  than 
from  the  United  States  and  Germany,  where  education  is  principally 
directed  towards  the  advancement  of  learning  and  the  somewhat 
indiscriminate  distribution  of  knowledge. 

In  olden  times,  when  communications  were  exceedingly  bad,  the 
various  centres  of  original  culture  existing  in  the  world  were  separated 
from  one  another  by  such  vast  distances  that  each  highly  cultured 
country  naturally  thought  itself  the  foremost  country  of  the  universe, 
considered  the  inhabitants  of  other  nations  as  barbarians,  refused  to 
learn  from  them,  became  self-concentrated,  rigidly  conservative,  and 
at  last  retrogressive.  We  find  this  narrow-minded,  though  explicable, 
attitude  of  haughty  contempt  for  all  foreign  culture,  which  finally 
results  in  the  inability  to  adopt  a  superior  civilisation  and  organisa- 
tion, in  Egypt,  Babylonia,  Persia,  Palestine,  Greece,  China,  and  many 
other  ancient  countries. 

To  the  ever-victorious  men  of  old  Japan,  also,  their  country  was 
naturally  the  centre  of  the  universe ;  it  was  created  by  the  gods  them- 
selves, and  their  Emperor  was  the  Son  of  Heaven,  being  a  direct 
descendant  of  the  great  Sun-goddess.  But  national  self-consciousness 
and  self-admiration  never  became  so  overwhelmingly  strong  as  to 
obscure  Japan's  open  mind.  On  the  contrary,  the  Japanese  were 
always  ready  to  learn  from  other  countries,  and  to  graft  foreign 
culture  on  to  their  own.  From  conquered  Corea  Japan  introduced 
Buddhism,  and  from  the  Chinese  she  learned  much  in  literature, 
philosophy,  and  art.  In  the  year  195  the  Chinese  species  of  silkworm 
was  brought  into  the  country,  and  later  on  silk- weavers  from  various 
districts  of  China  were  introduced  and  distributed  all  over  Japan  to 
teach  the  inhabitants  the  art  of  silk-weaving.  In  805  Denkyo  Daishi 
introduced  tea  plants  in  a  similar  manner.  Evidently  Japan  was 
ever  ready  and  anxious  to  learn  from  the  foreigner  all  that  could  be 
learned,  and  to  adapt,  but  not  to  slavishly  copy,  all  that  could  benefit 
and  elevate  the  nation. 

Up  to  a  few  hundred  years  ago  European  civilisation  was  un- 
known in  Eastern  Asia.  Largely  owing  to  the  influence  of  Buddhism, 
Japan  had  been  permeated  with  Chinese  literature  and  Chinese  ideas, 
and  had  come  to  consider  Chinese  culture  in  many  respects  superior 
to  her  own.  Therefore  it  was  not  unnatural  that,  in  the  sixteenth 
century,  when  Portuguese  missionaries  caused  a  widespread  revolt, 
Japan  resolved  to  close,  more  sinico,  the  country  against  all  foreign 
intercourse.  From  1638  to  1853,  or  for  more  than  two  hundred  years, 
Japan  led  a  self-centred  existence  far  away  from  the  outer  world,  like 
the  sleeping  beauty  of  the  fairy  tale  ;  but  in  the  latter  year  she  was 
waked  out  of  her  self-chosen  seclusion  by  the  arrival  of  Commodore 


82  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

Perry  and  his  squadron,  who.  to  the  amazement  of  Japan,  had  come 
to  wring  a  commercial  treaty  from  the  country,  and  to  open  it,  if 
necessary  by  force,  to  the  hated  foreigners. 

Japan  had  considered  herself  safe  from  the  contact  of  foreigners, 
and  inviolable.  The  intrusion  of  Commodore  Perry  was,  in  the  eyes 
of  all  Japan,  a  crime  and  almost  a  sacrilege.  The  sanctity  of  the 
country  had  been  denied,  its  laws  had  been  set  at  defiance,  and  the 
Government  had  no  power  to  resist  the  Commodore,  who  used  veiled 
threats  of  employing  force.  The  feeling  of  national  honour,  which  is 
stronger  in  Japan  than  in  any  other  country,  was  deeply  outraged, 
and  the  passionately  patriotic  nation  was  shaken  to  its  base  with 
violent  indignation. 

Nothing  can  give  a  better  idea  of  the  indescribable  excitement  and 
turmoil  which  was  caused  by  Commodore  Perry's  intrusion  than  the 
vivid  account  of  Genjo  Yume  Monogatari,  a  contemporaneous  writer. 
He  says  : 

It  was  in  the  summer  of  1853  that  an  individual  named  Perry,  who  called 
himself  the  envoy  of  the  United  States  of  America,  suddenly  arrived  at  Uraga, 
in  the  province  of  Sagami,  with  four  ships  of  war,  declaring  that  he  brought  a 
letter  from  his  country  to  Japan,  and  that  he  wished  to  deliver  it  to  the  Sove- 
reign. The  Governor  of  the  place,  Toda  Idzu  No  Kami,  much  alarmed  by  this 
extraordinary  event,  hastened  to  the  spot  to  inform  himself  of  its  meaning.  The 
envoy  stated,  in  reply  to  questions,  that  he  desired  to  see  a  chief  minister  in 
order  to  explain  the  object  of  his  visit,  and  to  hand  over  to  him  the  letter  with 
which  he  was  charged.  The  Governor  then  despatched  a  messenger  on  horse- 
back with  all  haste  to  carry  this  information  to  the  Castle  of  Yedo,  where  a 
great  scene  of  confusion  ensued  on  his  arrival.  Fresh  messengers  followed,  and 
the  Shogun  lyeyoshi,  on  receiving  them,  was  exceeding  troubled,  and  summoned 
all  the  officials  to  a  council. 

At  first  the  fear  seemed  so  sudden  and  so  formidable  that  they  were  too 
alarmed  to  open  their  mouths,  but  in  the  end  orders  were  issued  to  the  great 
clans  to  keep  strict  watch  at  various  points  on  the  shore,  as  it  was  possible  that 
the  '  barbarian  '  vessels  might  proceed  to  commit  acts  of  violence. 

Presently  a  learned  Chinese  scholar  was  sent  to  Uraga,  had  an  interview 
with  the  American  envoy,  and  returned  with  the  letter,  which  expressed  the 
desire  of  the  United  States  to  establish  friendship  and  intercourse  with  Japan, 
and  said,  according  to  this  account,  that  if  they  met  with  a  refusal  they  should 
commence  hostilities. 

Thereupon  the  Shogun  was  greatly  distressed,  and  again  summoned  a 
council.  He  also  asked  the  opinion  of  the  Daimios.  The  assembled  officials 
were  exceedingly  disturbed,  and  nearly  broke  their  hearts  over  consultations 
which  lasted  all  day  and  all  night. 

The  nobles  and  retired  nobles  in  Yedo  were  informed  that  they  were  at 
liberty  to  state  any  ideas  they  might  have  on  the  subject,  and,  although  they  all 
gave  their  opinions,  the  diversity  of  propositions  was  so  great  that  no  decision 
was  arrived  at. 

The  military  class  had,  during  a  long  peace,  neglected  military  arts  ;  they 
had  given  themselves  up  to  pleasure  and  luxury,  and  there  were  very  few  who 
had  put  on  armour  for  many  years,  so  that  they  were  greatly  alarmed  at  the 
prospect  that  war  might  break  out  at  a  moment's  notice,  and  began  to  run 
hither  and  thither  in  search  of  arms.  The  city  of  Yedo  and  the  surrounding 
villages  were  in  a  great  tumult.  And  there  was  such  a  state  of  confusion  among 


1904         HOW  JAPAN  REFORMED  HERSELF  33 

all  classes  that  the  Governors  of  the  city  were  compelled  to  issue  a  notification 
to  the  people,  and  this  in  the  end  had  the  effect  of  quieting  the  general  anxiety. 
But  in  the  Castle  never  was  a  decision  further  from  being  arrived  at,  and, 
whilst  time  was  being  thus  idly  wasted,  the  envoy  was  constantly  demanding 
an  answer. 

Commodore  Perry  happened  to  arrive  at  a  most  critical  period  in 
the  history  of  Japan.  Since  1192  the  formerly  subordinate  military 
class  had  seized  the  reins  of  government,  and  the  Shogun,  who  was 
supposed  to  be  only  the  generalissimo  of  Japan,  and  who  was 
appointed  by  the  Mikado,  had  possessed  himself  of  all  political  power. 
The  Mikado  was  the  nominal  ruler  of  the  country,  but,  though  he  was 
treated  with  the  greatest  respect,  was  in  reality  a  prisoner  in  his 
palace  at  Kyoto.  The  country  was  divided  into  numerous  principali- 
ties, which  were  more  or  less  independent.  Japan  was  an  empire 
in  name,  but  no  longer  an  empire  in  fact.  Thus  the  land  was  ruled 
by  a  number  of  great  feudal  chiefs,  who  were  supported  by  their 
armed  retainers,  the  samurai,  the  soldier  caste  of  Japan.  The 
autonomous  territories  of  the  great  nobles  were  ruled  on  different 
principles — they  possessed  their  own  laws,  finances,  and  regulations. 
There  was  consequently,  perhaps,  less  unity  in  Japan  then  than  there 
is  at  present  in  China. 

In  the  absence  of  a  powerful  centralising  influence,  the  country 
had  become  divided  against  itself :  the  formerly  unquestioned  authority 
of  the  Shogun  had  been  shaken  and  gravely  compromised,  the  nobles 
were  intriguing  for  power,  the  people  were  arbitrarily  and  harshly 
treated,  feudalism  felt  the  ground  heave  and  give  way  under  its  feet. 

The  numerous  Daimios,  the  great  feudal  lords  of  old  Japan,  were 
generous  patrons  of  literature  and  art,  and  strove  to  make  their 
residences  not  only  seats  of  power,  but  also  centres  of  learning.  From 
these  learned  circles  the  ultimate  revolt  against  the  Shogun' s  usurpa- 
tion took  its  beginning.  In  1715  the  Prince  of  Mito  finished, 
with  the  assistance  of  a  host  of  scholars,  his  great  work,  Dai  Nihon 
Shi,  or  history  of  Japan.  This  classical  work  was  copied  by  hand  by 
industrious  students  and  eager  patriots,  and  was  circulated  throughout 
the  Empire,  being  printed  only  in  1851.  It  is  characteristic  for  the 
spirit  of  intense  and  reflective  patriotism  of  Japan  that  this  celebrated 
compilation,  which  gave  an  account  of  the  decay  of  the  Mikado's 
power  and  of  the  usurpation  by  the  Shoguns,  became  the  strongest 
factor  in  the  eventual  overthrow  of  the  Shogunate,  in  the  re-esta- 
blishment of  the  Mikado's  power,  and  in  the  unification  of  the  Empire. 

The  history  by  the  Prince  of  Mito  was  followed  by  a  history  of 
the  usurpation  period  by  the  celebrated  scholar,  poet,  and  historian, 
Rai  Sanyo,  who  attacked  with  historic  proof,  unanswerable  logic,  and 
patriotic  fervour  the  Shogun's  usurpation  of  the  Imperial  power.  He 
traced  the  history  of  Japan  and  the  Imperial  House,  and  mourned 
the  disappearance  of  the  true  Imperial  power.  The  influence  of  his 

VOL.  LVI— Kb.  329  D 


34  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

writings  was  enormous,  and  not  a  few  of  his  disciples  became  men  of 
action,  who  carried  out  their  master's  ideas.  Thus  the  Mikado's 
party  found  a  strong  and  growing  support  among  the  intellectual 


The  body  of  malcontent  idealists  and  students  was  reinforced  by 
the  large  body  of  devout  Shintoists,  who  see  in  the  Mikado  their  god, 
and  the  fountain  of  all  virtue,  honour,  and  authority.  Shintoism, 
which  had  been  lying  dormant  for  a  long  time,  experienced  a  wonderful 
revival,  and  became  again  a  living  faith.  Consequently  it  was  only 
natural  that  the  adherents  to  Japan's  native  religion  were  outraged 
when  they  were  told  that  the  Mikado  had  been  ousted  from  power 
and  was  practically  a  prisoner. 

Thus  disorder  within  the  country  was  added  to  the  danger 
threatening  from  without.  While  the  conscience  of  the  people  was 
awaking  to  the  ancient  wrong  done  to  the  Mikado  and  clamouring 
for  its  redress  by  reinstating  him  in  power,  Japanese  patriotism  in- 
stinctively felt  the  need  of  uniting  the  nation  against  the  insolent 
foreigner,  and  added  force  to  the  growing  movement  towards  national 
unity  and  towards  the  reinstallation  of  the  legitimate  ruler. 

Under  these  circumstances  it  was  only  natural  that  the  ferment  of 
the  nation  was  greatly  increased  by  the  behaviour  of  the  insolent 
foreigners,  and  by  their  —  to  Japanese  minds  —  outrageous  demands, 
and  the  national  feeling  rose  to  fever  heat  when  it  was  discovered  that 
the  Shogun  had,  in  spite  of  the  remonstrance  of  the  Mikado,  con- 
cluded the  treaty  of  1854,  whereby  the  country  was  opened  to  foreign 
trade,  merely  in  order  to  get  rid  of  the  troublesome  and  dreaded 
foreigners  at  any  price. 

From  1854  onward  the  problem  whether  the  foreigners  should  be 
exterminated  or  tolerated  was  uppermost  in  men's  minds,  and,  as  the 
majority  of  the  nation  was  in  favour  of  expelling  the  barbarians,  the 
position  of  the  unfortunate  Shogun,  who  had  concluded  the  treaty 
without  the  Mikado's  consent,  became  one  of  very  great  difficulty. 
During  this  period  of  national  agitation  and  perturbation  the  Mikado 
issued  a  rescript,  in  which  he  said  :  'L  Amity  and  commerce  with 
foreigners  brought  disgrace  on  the  country  in  the  past.  It  is  desir- 
able that  Kyoto  and  Yedo  should  join  their  strengths  and  plan  the 
welfare  of  the  Empire.'  This  idea  rapidly  became  universal,  and  led 
to  the  rallying  cry  of  the  people,  which  rang  from  one  end  of  the 
Empire  to  the  other  :  '  Destroy  the  Shogunate  and  raise  the  Mikado 
to  his  proper  throne.' 

The  hatred  towards  the  foreign  intruders  became  more  and  more 
accentuated  as  time  passed  on.  Europeans  were  murdered  without 
provocation,  and  the  guns  on  the  coast  opened  fire  on  foreign  ships, 
regardless  of  their  nationality,  when  they  passed  by.  These  attacks 
led  to  the  bombardment  of  Kagoshima  on  the  llth  August,  1863, 
and  to  that  of  Shimonoseki  on  the  5th  September,  1864.  Though  the 


1904          HOW  JAPAN  REFORMED   HERSELF  35 

Japanese  on  land  bravely  tried  to  defend  themselves,  they  found 
their  weapons  unavailing  against  the  superior  armaments  of  the 
foreign  ships. 

The  effect  of  the  two  bombardments  on  the  mind  of  Japan  may  best 
be  gathered  from  the  following  memorandum  of  a  native  chronicler  : 

The  eyes  of  the  Prince  were  opened  through  the  fight  of  Kagoshima,  and 
affairs  appeared  to  him  in  a  new  light ;  he  changed  in  favour  of  foreigners,  and 
thought  now  of  making  his  country  powerful  and  of  completing  his  armaments. 

The  Emperor  also  wrote  in  a  rather  pathetic  tone  to  the  Shogun  : 

I  held  a  council  the  other  day  with  my  military  nobility,  but,  unfortunately, 
inured  to  the  habits  of  peace  which  for  more  than  200  years  has  existed  in  our 
country,  we  are  unable  to  exclude  and  subdue  our  foreign  enemies  by  the  for- 
cible means  of  war.  ...  If  we  compare  our  Japanese  ships  of  war  and  cannon 
with  those  of  the  barbarians,  we  feel  certain  that  they  are  not  sufficient  to  in- 
flict terror  upon  the  foreign  barbarians  and  are  also  insufficient  to  make  the 
splendour  of  Japan  shine  in  foreign  countries.  I  should  think  that  we  only 
would  make  ourselves  ridiculous  in  the  eyes  of  the  barbarians. 

The  damage  done  by  the  bombardments  was,  after  all,  insigni- 
ficant, and  if  Japan  had  possessed  the  spirit  of  China,  the  officials  might 
easily  have  explained  away  these  attacks  as  being  unimportant  and 
purely  local  affairs.  However,  the  proud  mind  of  Japan  required  no 
further  humiliation  to  drive  home  the  lesson,  but  immediately  realised 
that  the  time  of  seclusion,  conservatism,  and  feudalism  was  past,  and 
that  the  nation's  salvation  could  only  henceforward  be  found  in  pro- 
gress and  unity.  As  Professor  Toyokichi  lyenaga  put  it : 

Those  bombardments  showed  the  necessity  of  national  union.  Whether  she 
would  repel  or  receive  the  foreigner,  Japan  must  present  a  united  front.  To 
this  end  a  great  change  in  the  internal  constitution  of  the  Empire  was  needed. 
The  internal  resources  of  the  nation  had  to  be  gathered  into  a  common  treasure, 
the  police  and  the  taxes  had  to  be  recognised  as  national,  not  as  belonging  to 
petty  local  chieftains,  the  power  of  the  feudal  lords  had  to  be  broken,  in  order  to 
reconstitute  Japan  as  a  single  strong  State  under  a  single  head.  These  are  the 
ideas  which  led  the  way  to  the  Restoration  of  1868.  Thus  the  bombardments 
of  Kagoshima  and  Shimonoseki  may  be  said  to  have  helped  indirectly  in  the 
Restoration.  .  .  . 

When  a  country  is  threatened  with  foreign  invasion,  when  the  corporate 
action  of  its  citizens  against  the  enemy  is  needed,  it  becomes  an  imperative 
necessity  to  consult  public  opinion.  In  such  a  time  centralisation  is  needed. 
Hence  the  first  move  of  Japan  after  the  advent  of  foreigners  was  to  bring  the 
scattered  parts  of  the  country  together  and  unite  them  under  one  head.  Japan 
had  hitherto  no  formidable  foreign  enemy  on  her  shores,  so  her  governmental 
system,  the  regulating  system  of  the  social  organism,  received  no  impetus  for 
self -development ;  but  as  soon  as  a  formidable  people,  either  as  allies  or  foes, 
appeared  on  the  scene  in  1858,  we  immediately  see  the  remarkable  change  in  the 
State  system  in  Japan.  It  became  necessary  to  consult  public  opinion.  Councils 
of  Kuges  (nobles  belonging  to  the  Court  of  the  Mikado)  and  Daimios  (indepen- 
dent nobles)  and  meetings  of  Samurai  sprang  forth  spontaneously. 

Recognising  that  the  reconstitution  of  the  country,  its  reunion, 
and  the  re-establishment  of  the  rule  of  the  Mikado  were  absolute 


36  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

necessities  for  the  continued  independent  existence  of  Japan,  the 
Shogun,  the  virtual  ruler  of  the  country,  whose  predecessors  had 
governed  Japan  for  hundreds  of  years,  took  a  step  which  is  almost 
unprecedented  in  history.  Placing  the  welfare  of  his  country  high 
above  the  glorious  traditions  of  his  House,  and  waiving  the  historical 
claims  to  his  exalted  position  which  he  possessed,  the  Shogun  resigned 
his  office  on  the  19th  November,  1867,  in  a  document  which  should 
for  ever  and  to  all  nations  be  a  monument  of  sublime  patriotism.  In 
this  document  he  said  : 

A  retrospect  of  the  various  changes  through  which  the  Empire  has  passed 
shows  us  that  after  the  decadence  of  the  monarchical  authority  power  passed 
into  the  hands  of  the  Minister  of  State;  that  by  the  wars  of  1156  to  1159  the 
governmental  power  came  into  the  hands  of  the  military  class. 

My  ancestor  received  greater  marks  of  confidence  than  any  before  him,  and 
his  descendants  have  succeeded  him  for  more  than  200  years.  Though  I 
performed  the  same  duties,  the  objects  of  government  have  not  been  attained 
and  the  penal  laws  have  not  been  carried  out ;  and  it  is  with  a  feeling  of  the 
greatest  humiliation  that  I  find  myself  obliged  to  acknowledge  my  own  want  of 
virtue  as  the  cause  of  the  present  state  of  things.  Moreover,  our  intercourse 
with  foreign  Powers  becomes  daily  more  extensive,  and  our  foreign  policy  cannot 
be  pursued  unless  directed  by  the  whole  power  of  the  country. 

If,  therefore,  the  old  regime  be  changed  and  the  governmental  authority  be 
restored  to  the  Imperial  Court ;  if  the  councils  of  the  whole  Empire  be  collected 
and  their  wise  decisions  received,  and  if  we  are  united  with  all  our  heart  and 
all  our  strength  to  protect  and  maintain  the  Empire,  it  will  be  able  to  range 
itself  with  the  nations  of  the  earth.  This  comprises  our  whole  duty  towards  our 
country. 

This  simple  declaration  is  as  manly,  straightforward,  and  wholly 
admirable  as  the  following  verbal  explanation  of  his  step  which  the 
Shogun  gave  to  Sir  Harry  Parkes  and  the  French  Minister.  He  said  : 

I  became  convinced  last  autumn  that  the  country  would  no  longer  be 
successfully  governed  while  the  power  was  divided  between  the  Emperor  and 
myself.  ...  I  therefore,  for  the  good  of  my  country,  informed  the  Emperor  that 
I  resigned  the  governing  power  with  the  understanding  that  an  assembly  of 
Daimios  shall  be  convened  for  the  purpose  of  deciding  in  what  manner  and  by 
whom  the  government  should  be  carried  on  in  the  future. 

In  acting  thus  I  sank  my  own  interests  and  abandoned  the  power  handed 
down  to  me  by  my  ancestors  in  the  more  important  interests  of  the  country.  .  .  . 
In  pursuance  of  this  object  I  have  retired  from  the  scene  of  dispute  instead  of 
opposing  force  by  force.  ...  As  to  who  is  the  Sovereign  of  Japan,  this  is  a 
question  on  which  no  one  in  Japan  can  entertain  a  doubt.  The  Emperor  is  the 
Sovereign. 

My  object  has  been  from  the  first  to  obey  the  will  of  the  nation  as  to  the 
future  government.  If  the  nation  should  decide  that  I  ought  to  resign  my 
powers,  I  am  prepared  to  resign  them  for  the  good  of  the  country.  ...  I  had 
no  other  motive  than  the  following :  With  an  honest  love  for  my  country  and 
people,  I  resigned  the  governing  power  which  I  inherited  from  my  ancestors 
with  the  understanding  that  I  should  assemble  all  the  nobles  of  the  Empire  to 
discuss  the  question  disinterestedly,  and,  adopting  the  opinion  of  the  majority, 
which  decided  upon  the  reformation  of  the  national  constitution,  I  left  the 
matter  in  the  hands  of  the  Imperial  Court. 


1904         HOW  JAPAN  REFORMED  HERSELF  87 

Thus  the  'question  whether  the  Mikado  or  the  Shogun  should  be 
supreme  was  not  decided  by  civil  war,  as  might  have  been  expected, 
but  by  the  self-sacrifice  of  patriotism. 

The  Mikado  accepted  the  resignation  of  the  Shogun,  and  with 
the  disappearance  of  the  latter  from  power  the  chief  obstacle  to 
Japan's  unification  and  modernisation  was  removed.  A  government 
was  formed  by  the  Mikado,  and  its  first  active  step  was  a  memorial 
to  the  Throne,  which  is  so  remarkable  for  its  enlightenment  and  which 
is  so  important  for  the  whole  development  of  Japan  that  it  seems 
necessary  to  quote  a  part  of  it.  That  interesting  manifesto,  which 
most  clearly  illustrates  the  mind  of  Japan  and  which  brings  the 
fundamental  differences  between  that  country  and  China  into  the 
strongest  relief,  says : 

....  It  causes  us  some  anxiety  to  feel  that  we  may  perhaps  be  following  the 
bad  example  of  the  Chinese,  who,  fancying  themselves  alone  great  and  worthy 
of  respect  and  despising  foreigners  as  little  better  than  beasts,  have  come  to  suffer 
defeats  at  their  hands  and  to  have  it  lorded  over  themselves  by  those  foreigners. 

It  appears  to  us,  therefore,  after  mature  reflection,  that  the  most  important 
duty  we  have  at  present  to  perform  is  for  high  and  low  to  unite  harmoniously 
in  understanding  the  conditions  of  the  age,  in  effecting  a  national  reformation, 
and  commencing  a  great  work;  and  that  for  this  reason  it  is  of  the  greatest  ne- 
cessity that  we  determine  upon  the  attitude  to  be  observed  towards  this  question. 

Hitherto  the  Empire  has  held  itself  aloof  from  other  countries  and  is 
ignorant  of  the  force  of  the  world;  the  only  object  set  has  been  to  give  ourselves 
the  least  trouble,  and  by  daily  retrogression  we  are  in  danger  of  falling  under  a 
foreign  rule. 

By  travelling  to  foreign  countries  and  observing  what  good  there  is  in  them, 
by  comparing  their  daily  progress,  the  universality  of  intelligent  government, 
of  a  sufficiency  of  military  defences  and  of  abundant  food  for  the  people  among 
them,  with  our  present  condition,  the  causes  of  prosperity  and  degeneracy  may 
plainly  be  traced.  .  .  . 

In  order  to  restore  the  fallen  fortunes  of  the  Emperor  and  to  make  the 
Imperial  dignity  respected  abroad,  it  is  necessary  to  make  a  firm  resolution  and 
to  get  rid  of  the  narrow-minded  notions  which  have  prevailed  hitherto. 

We  pray  that  the  important  personages  of  the  Court  will  open  their  eyes 
and  unite  with  those  below  them  in  establishing  relations  of  amity  in  a  single- 
minded  manner,  and  that,  our  deficiencies  being  supplied  with  what  foreigners 
are  superior  in,  an  enduring  government  be  established  for  future  ages.  Assist 
the  Emperor  in  forming  his  decision  wisely  and  in  understanding  the  condition 
of  the  Empire;  let  the  foolish  argument  which  has  hitherto  styled  foreigners 
dogs  and  goats  and  barbarians  be  abandoned ;  let  the  Court  ceremonies,  hitherto 
imitated  from  the  Chinese,  be  reformed,  and  the  foreign  representatives  be 
bidden  to  Court  in  the  manner  prescribed  in  the  rules  current  amongst  all 
nations ;  and  let  this  be  publicly  notified  throughout  the  country,  so  that  the 
ignorant  people  may  be  taught  in  what  light  they  are  to  regard  this  subject. 
This  is  our  most  earnest  prayer,  presented  with  all  reverence  and  humility. 

Happily,  the  Mikado  himself  saw  the  necessity  for  reform  and 
progress.  Had  he  been  a  man  of  ordinary  ability,  had  he  not  been 
aided  by  a  group  of  enlightened  and  far-seeing  statesmen,  he  might  have 
rested  satisfied  with  regaining,  by  the  force  of  circumstances,  the 


38  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

power  which  his  ancestors  had  lost  centuries  ago.  He  would  have 
continued  a  rule  of  absolutism,  and  he  would  merely  have  tried  to 
raise  the  defensive  power  of  the  country  sufficiently  to  allow  Japan 
to  return  to  the  seclusion  to  which  the  people  had  become  accustomed. 
But  happily,  Mutsu  Hito  was  thoroughly  in  sympathy  with  the 
reformers,  and  on  the  17th  April,  1869,  he  took  before  the  Court  and 
the  Assembly  of  Daimios  the  charter  oath  of  five  articles,  which  in 
substance  were  as  follows  : 

(1)  A  deliberative  assembly  shall  be  formed,  and  all  measures  shall  be 
decided  by  public  opinion. 

(2)  The  principles  of  social  and  political  science  shall  be  constantly  studied 
by  both  the  higher  and  lower  classes  of  the  people. 

(3)  Everyone  in  the  community  shall  be  assisted  in  obtaining  liberty  of 
action  for  all  good  and  lawful  purposes. 

(4)  All  the  old,  absurd  usages  of  former  times  shall  be  abolished  and  the 
impartiality  and  justice  which  are  displayed  in  the  working  of  Nature  shall  be 
adopted  as  the  fundamental  basis  of  the  State. 

(5)  Wisdom  and  knowledge  shall  be  sought  after  in  all  quarters  of  the 
civilised  world,  for  the  purpose  of  firmly  establishing  the  foundations  of  Empire. 

Thus  the  Mikado  identified  himself  with  the  cause  of  reform, 
pledged  the  nation  to  progress,  and  made  the  success  of  the  move- 
ment towards  the  modernisation  of  Japan  a  certainty.  Henceforth 
the  whole  of  the  nation  strove  for  progress  and  enlightenment  with 
that  passionate  will-power  and  singleness  of  purpose  which  is  not 
found  outside  Japan. 

By  the  voluntary  surrender  of  power  on  the  part  of  the  Shogun, 
the  Mikado  had  been  installed,  and  he  had  pledged  himself  to  pro- 
gress; but  the  formidable  difficulties  remained  how  to  unify  and 
modernise  a  nation  which  for  centuries  had  been  governed  by  a  large 
number  of  independent  princes  whose  power  rested  on  an  immense 
army  of  Samurai.  The  problem  of  abolishing  feudalism  and  mili- 
tarism, which,  so  far,  had  formed  the  groundwork  of  all  government, 
was  one  of  enormous  difficulty,  for  the  feudal  lords  and  their  Samurai 
considered  themselves,  naturally,  as  '  the  government '  by  tradition 
as  well  as  by  right.  This  apparently  formidable  question  was,  how- 
ever, easily  settled  by  the  marvellous  patriotism  of  those  who  held 
power  in  the  land. 

Daimio  Akidzuki,  President  of  the  Kogisho  (the  deliberating  council 
representing  the  clans),  addressed  the  following  memorial  to  the  Throne : 

.  .  .  The  various  Princes'have  used  their  lands  and  their  people  for  their  own 
purposes;  different  laws  have  obtained  in  different  places ;  the  civil  and  criminal 
codes  have  been  different  in  the  various  provinces. 

The  clans  have  been  called  the  screen  of  the  country,  but  in  reality  they 
have  caused  its  division.  Internal  relations  having  been  confused,  the  strength 
of  the  country  has  been  disunited  and  diminished.  How  can  our  small  country 
of  Japan  enter  into  fellowship  with  the  countries  beyond  the  sea  ?  How  can 
she  hold  up  an  example  of  a  nourishing  country  ? 


1904        HOW  JAPAN  REFORMED  HERSELF  39 

Let  those  who  wish  to  show  their  faith  and  loyalty  act  in  the  following  manner, 
that  they  may  firmly  establish  the  foundations  of  Imperial  government :  ) 

(1)  Let  them  restore  the   territories  which  they  have  received  from  the 
Emperor  and  return  to  a  constitutional  and  undivided  country. 

(2)  Let  them  abandon  their  titles,  and  under  the  name  of  Kuazoko  (persons 
of  honour)  receive  such  small  properties  as  may  suffice  for  their  wants. 

(3)  Let  officers  of  the  clans  abandon  that  title,  call  themselves  officers  of  the 
Emperor,  receiving  the  property  equal  to  that  which  they  have  held  hitherto. 

Let  these  three  important  measures  be  adopted  forthwith,  that  the  Empire 
may  be  raised  on  a  basis  imperishable  for  ages.  .  .  < 

This  declaration,  which  was  inspired  by  the  great  statesmen  of  the 
three  leading  clans,  and  which  breathes  a  spirit  of  unselfish  patriotism 
that  seems  almost  incredible  to  the  more  stolid  and  the  more  selfish 
nations  of  the  West,  met  with  universal  approval,  and  the  great 
Daimios  emulated  one  another  in  offering  up  to  the  Mikado  their 
titles,  their  position,  their  lands,  and  their  wealth.  The  Daimios  of 
the  West,  for  instance,  said  in  their  memorial : 

Now,  when  men  are  seeking  for  a  new  government,  the  great  body  and  the 
great  strength  must  neither  be  lent  nor  borrowed.  .  .  .  We  therefore  reverently 
offer  up  the  list  of  our  possessions  and  men.  .  .  .  Let  Imperial  orders  be  issued 
for  altering  and  remodelling  the  territories  of  the  various  clans.  Let  all  affairs 
of  State,  great  and  small,  be  directed  by  the  Emperor. 

On  the  14th  of  April,  1869,  118  Daimios,  having1  a  revenue  of 
12,000,000  kokus  of  rice,  or  about  24,000,00$.,  had  agreed  to  the 
proposed  radical  restoration.  A  few  months  later  241  out  of  258  of 
these  nobles  had  resigned  their  power,  and  the  remaining  seventeen, 
who  were  the  only  dissentients,  soon  followed  suit.  Thus  feudalism, 
which  had  existed  in  Japan  for  over  eight  centuries,  voluntarily 
extinguished  itself,  and  patriotism  triumphed  over  selfish  interests 
and  the  love  of  power. 

The  fall  of  feudalism  was  marked  by  the  laconic  Imperial  decree 
of  the  29th  August,  1871,  which  simply  announced  :  '  The  clans  are 
abolished  and  prefectures  are  established  in  their  place.'  As  great  an 
event  in  history  has  probably  never  been  proclaimed  by  as  short  a 
decree. 

The  new  era  of  Japan,  which  is  truly  called  the  '  Meji  Era,'  the 
era  of  enlightenment,  thus  began  with  acts  of  noble  self-sacrifice  by 
the  greatest  in  the  land,  and  the  patriotic  example  of  the  nobility 
stirred  up  the  country  from  shore  to  shore.  A  feverish  desire  to  sacri- 
fice themselves  for  their  country,  a  desire  which  is  deeply  implanted 
in  all  Japanese,  took  hold  of  the  whole  population,  and  when  it  was 
recognised  that  the  enormous  caste  of  Samurai,  the  warriors,  who 
cost  the  country  about  2,000,000?.  per  annum,  had  no  room  in  the 
modern  State,  patriotism  found  again  the  remedy.  The  army  of  pro- 
fessional soldiers,  who  had  been  taught  that  the  sword  was  their  sole 
and  their  only  means  of  earning  a  living,  and  who  disdained ^to  earn 
their  bread  by  industry  or  trade,  quietly  effaced  themselves,  sur- 


40  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

rendered  the  larger  part  of  their  income,  and,  without  a  murmur, 
accepted  inglorious  poverty  in  the  shape  of  pensions  which  amounted 
to  but  a  few  pence  per  day,  and  which  barely  kept  the  men  from 
starvation. 

The  compensation  paid  to  the  nobles  for  surrendering  their  lands 
and,  with  the  lands,  their  incomes  to  the  State,  the  pensioning  of  the 
Samurai,  and  the  rearrangement  of  finances  from  their  local  basis  to 
an  Imperial  basis,  was  an  enormous  financial  transaction  of  stupendous 
difficulty.  The  loans  raised  in  connection  with  this  vast  national 
reorganisation  amounted  to  no  less  than  225,514,800  yen,  or  to  the 
truly  enormous  sum  of  about  40,000,OOOZ.  It  speaks  volumes  for  the 
financial  strength  of  the  country  and  for  the  consummate  ability  of 
the  Japanese  financiers  that  this  enormous  operation  was  satisfac- 
torily carried  out,  and  that  by  1903  all  but  the  trifling  amount  of 
23,800,111  yen  had  been  redeemed. 

Many  enlightened  Japanese  shared  the  opinion  of  the  great  educa- 
tionalist, Fukuzawa  Yukichi,  who  fearlessly  declared  :  '  The  Govern- 
ment exists  for  the  people,  and  not  the  people  for  the  Government ; 
the  Government  officials  are  the  servants  of  the  people,  and  the 
people  are  their  employers.'  Hence  the  desire  for  representative 
government  arose  in  Japan  soon  after  the  reformation,  though  the 
Japanese  had  hitherto  only  known  government  by  despotism.  Though 
the  Japanese  people  had  had  no  experience  whatever  of  popular 
government,  the  Mikado  and  his  advisers  had  so  much  confidence  in 
the  good. sense  and  the  patriotism  of  the  nation  that  they  decided 
upon  giving  the  people  a  share  in  the  government  of  the  country. 
On  the  12th  October,  1881,  the  Mikado  issued  the  famous  declaration, 
in  which  he  said  : 

We  have  long  intended  to  establish  gradually  a  constitutional  form  of  govern- 
ment. ...  It  was  with  this  object  in  view  that  we  established  the  Senate  in 
1875,  and  authorised  the  formation  of  local  assemblies  in  1878.  .  .  .  We  there- 
fore hereby  declare  that  we  shall  establish  a  Parliament  in  1890,  in  order  to 
carry  into  full  effect  the  determination  which  we  have  announced;  and  we 
charge  our  faithful  subjects  bearing  our  commissions  to  make  in  the  meantime 
all  necessary  preparations  to  that  end. 

With  the  deliberate  cautiousness  and  foresight  which  is  character- 
istic of  all  Japanese  action,  the  people  were,  step  by  step,  introduced 
and  accustomed  to  self-government.  When  the  Senate  had  settled 
down,  the  local  assemblies  were  created,  and  when  the  local  assemblies 
had  proved  their  worth,  it  was  announced  that  ten  years  hence  a 
Parliament  should  be  elected.  Thus  the  leaders  of  public  opinion  had 
ample  time  to  prepare  the  nation  for  the  coming  change,  and  were 
enabled  to  educate  the  electorate  for  their  coming  duties. 

In  consequence  of  this  careful  preparation  and  this  wise  delay  the 
Japanese  Parliament  has  proved  a  great  success.  The  elections 
cause  no  excitement,  the  people  record  their  votes  with  the  full  know- 


1904         HOW  JAPAN  REFORMED  HERSELF  41 

ledge  of  their  responsibility,  and  Parliament  works  with  ability  and 
decorum.  Lengthy  speeches  are  unknown  in  that  assembly,  and  the 
House  gets  through  an  immense  amount  of  work  in  an  incredibly  short 
time.  Parliamentary  peroration  and  obstruction  are  practically  un- 
known in  Japan,  though  there  have  been  not  a  few  political  struggles 
and  dissolutions.  However,  party  struggles  are  confined  to  domestic 
politics. 

The  reconstitution  of  the  body  politic  of  Japan  was  crowned  on 
the  1st  of  April,  1890,  when  the  Mikado  solemnly  promulgated  a  Con- 
stitution for  Japan.  Whilst  in  all  other  monarchical  countries  the 
Constitution  had  to  be  wrested  from  an  unwilling  Sovereign  by  the 
force,  and  not  infrequently  by  the  violence,  of  the  people,  Japan  is 
the  only  country  in  the  world  which  can  boast  of  a  monarch  who 
has  voluntarily  divested  himself  of  a  part  of  his  rights,  and  who  has 
by  his  own  free  will  granted  a  participation  in  the  government  to  his 
subjects. 

This  short  sketch  of  one  of  the  most  remarkable  chapters  in  the 
history  of  the  world  clearly  proves  that  Japan's  marvellous  progress 
and  her  astonishing  change  from  mediaeval  Orientalism  to  modern 
Western  culture  is  in  no  way  a  fact  that  can  cause  surprise. 

Though  the  Japanese  are  an  extremely  gifted  people,  they  are, 
individually,  probably  no  more  talented  than  are  the  inhabitants  of 
many  other  countries.  Japan's  progress  has  no  doubt  been  meteoric, 
and  her  complete  adoption  of  Western  culture  has  certainly  been 
startling.  But  her  progress  and  her  transformation  appear  only 
natural  if  we  remember  that  Japan  is  a  nation  in  which  everybody, 
from  the  highest  to  the  lowest,  in  all  circumstances,  unflinchingly  obeys 
the  rule  :  '  The  imperative  duty  of  man  in  his  capacity  of  a  subject 
is  to  sacrifice  his  private  interests  to  the  public  good.  Egoism  forbids 
co-operation,  and  without  co-operation  there  cannot  be  any  great 
achievement.' 

The  individualistic  nations  of  the  West  in  which  the  interests  of 
the  nation  are  only  too  often  sacrificed  to  the  selfish  interests  of  the 
individual,  where  party  loyalty  is  apt  to  take  precedence  over 
patriotism,  where  ministers,  generals,  and  admirals  are  rarely  ap- 
pointed by  merit  only,  where  jobbery  occurs  even  in  time  of  war, 
and  where  everything  is  considered  permitted  that  is  not  actually 
punished  by  law,  will  do  well  to  learn  from  Japan's  example,  for  it 
cannot  be  doubted  that  the  cause  of  Japan's  greatness  and  of  Japan's 
success  can  be  summed  up  in  the  one  word — patriotism. 

0.  ELTZBACHEB. 


42  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 


THE    WOMEN  OF  KOREA 


THERE  is,  perhaps,  no  country  about  the  womankind  of  which  so 
little  is  known  as  of  Korea.  And  one  cannot  be  astonished  at 
this  fact,  as  the  women  themselves  have  been  kept  as  much  shut  off 
from  contact  with  the  outer  world  as  the  peninsula  itself  has  been 
shut  off.  Not  even  a  medical  man  is  allowed  to  have  access  to  their 
rooms.  The  Japanese  staff  surgeon,  Dr.  Massano  Kaike,  tried  every- 
thing possible  to  break  down  this  rigid  isolation,  but  all  his  endeavours 
proved  fruitless.  Then  he  sent  for  his  own  wife,  and  as  she  found 
less  difficulty  in  obtaining  access  to  the  secluded  women's  apartments, 
he  instructed  her  to  find  out  what  was  going  on  within  those  dwellings. 
The  result  of  this  step  was  that  he  published  the  gist  of  the  observa- 
tions made  in  the  International  Archive  of  Ethnography. 

According  to  what  can  be  read  there,  it  is  not  at  all  correct  to 
assert,  as  is  often  done,  that  the  woman  (wife)  obtains  no  considera- 
tion on  the  part  of  the  man  (husband).  The  fact  that  he  fully  knows 
how  to  value  her  as  the  mother  of  the  coming  generation  shows  itself 
clearly  in  the  special  care  which  he  bestows  on  her  when  he  expects 
the  birth  of  a  child. 

A  rope  stretched  across  the  entrance  to  the  house  indicates  the 
birth  of  a  child.  If  it  is  a  boy,  a  piece  of  coal  and  a  leaf  are  fastened 
to  it ;  if  it  is  a  girl,  nothing  is  attached  to  the  rope.  The  Koreans 
have  the  curious  habit  of  not  counting  their  daughters  as  members  of 
the  family — at  least,  not  in  public.  If  a  father  is  asked  how  many 
children  he  has  got,  he  always  gives  as  answer  the  number  of  his  sons. 
One  can  only  learn  of  the  existence  of  a  daughter  by  very  particular 
close  inquiries.  They  have  special  names  only  up  to  the  age  of  seven, 
after  which  they  only  bear  the  father's  surname,  and  are  henceforth 
known  only  as  daughter,  sister,  or  wife  of  some  man. 

When  a  child  has  become  able  to  walk  a  dog  is  obtained,  even  in 
the  poorest  families,  which  is  carefully  trained  to  follow  the  child 
everywhere  in  its  little  rambles  to  protect  it.  Of  course,  it  is  not  a 
rare  occurrence  that  just  the  opposite  takes  place.  According  to  the 
Korean  idea,  the  mental  development  of  the  child  is  helped  on  by  the 


1904  THE    WOMEN  OF  KOREA  43 

influence  of  light,  and  on  that  account  the  lamp  in  the  children's 
room  is  never  put  out. 

In  education  the  separation  between  boys  and  girls  takes  place  in 
the  eighth  year.  The  boys  then  are  taught  all  branches  of  knowledge 
considered  necessary  for  their  future  calling,  but  the  education  of 
girls  in  a  good  family  is  limited  to  the  study  of  maxims  of  morality 
and  to  the  knowledge  of  the  ceremonies  in  connection  with  the  religious 
cultus  of  ancestors  ;  in  the  huts  of  the  poor  people  the  girls  are  taught 
only  dressmaking  and  all  sorts  of  needlework.  As  a  matter  of  fact, 
the  women  of  the  lower  class  are  particularly  clever  in  the  use  of 
the  needle.  This  is  easily  proved  by  the  garments  exhibited  in  the 
Museum  of  Ethnography  in  Berlin,  and  in  the  Brussels  Museum.  The 
embroideries  on  the  silk  undergarments  are  executed  with  extra- 
ordinary skill.  In  Berlin  there  is,  among  other  articles,  also  one 
of  the  famous  white  garments  which  the  Koreans  are  particularly 
fond  of  wearing,  and  which  owe  their  existence  to  the  uncommonly 
long  period  of  mourning  for  their  dead.  As  the  Koreans  are  obliged 
to  dress  in  white  for  three  years  for  every  case  of  death,  and  as  once 
three  kings  died  within  ten  years,  by  which  deaths  mourning  was 
imposed  on  the  whole  nation,  the  majority  of  people  chose  rather  to 
dress  continually  in  white  in  order  to  avoid  the  great  expenses  in- 
volved by  a  repeated  change  of  clothing. 

The  women  make  these  garments,  and  every  time  they  have  to  be 
washed  they  are  entirely  taken  to  pieces,  and  these  are  beaten  for 
hours  with  a  wooden  bat  in  order  to  obtain  the  metallic  gloss  which 
is  considered  particularly  beautiful.  In  the  Berlin  Museum  there  is 
one  of  these  bats,  which  is  made  of  cedar  wood,  and  in  shape  is  like 
a  moderately  large  wine  bottle  flattened  on  one  side. 

The  Koreans  are  one  of  the  few  races  in  which  the  girl  is  developed 
later  than  the  boy.  In  consequence  the  wives  are  nearly  always  a 
few  years  older  than  the  husbands. 

The  customs  connected  with  a  Korean  marriage  are  as  follows  : 
The  man  sends  by  a  friend  a  written  formal  request  for  the  hand  of 
the  girl  whom  he  has  chosen,  and  her  family  send  a  written  reply. 
If  the  offer  is  accepted,  there  follows  an  exchange  of  papers  of  identity, 
in  which  particular  attention  is  given  to  the  exact  date  and  hour  of 
birth,  as  they  have  to  fix  the  day  of  the  calendar  which  is  specially 
favourable  and  propitious  for  the  intended  marriage.  On  that  day 
the  place  for  the  ceremony  is  prepared  at  the  house  of  the  bride  under- 
neath the  outside  entrance  staircase.  The  bridegroom,  dressed  in  the 
proper  garments,  comes  driving  or  riding,  accompanied  by  his  father, 
dismounts  outside  the  gate,  and  walks,  with  his  face  turned  to  the 
north,  to  the  spot  prepared  for  the  ceremony.  There  the  bridegroom, 
in  kneeling  position,  puts  down  his  present  for  the  bride,  which  con- 
sists of  a  wild  goose,  in  default  of  which  a  carved  one  can  be  substi- 
tuted ;  he  bows  twice,  retires  a  short  distance,  and  then  stops,  with 


44  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  .July 

his  face  turned  to  the  west.  The  reason  of  the  existence  of  this 
curious  present  is  to  be  found  in  a  legend  which  tells  how  a  hunter 
had  once  shot  the  male  of  a  wild  goose,  and  had  always  seen  the 
poor  goose  come  back  to  visit  the  spot  where  her  mate  had  been 
killed.  This  present,  therefore,  means  to  intimate  the  hope  and 
expectation  that  the  wife  shall  show  equal  faithfulness  to  her  husband, 
and  after  it  has  been  given  the  two  parties  give  each  other  the  promise 
of  eternal  faith  by  using  the  following  words :  '  Now  our  hair  is  as 
black  as  the  feathers  of  the  wild  goose,  but  even  if  it  should  turn 
white  as  the  fibre  of  the  bulbous  root  we  will  still  hold  together  as 
faithfully  as  we  do  this  day.' 

The  bride  that  day  puts  on,  for  the  first  time  in  her  life,  the  com- 
plete Korean  woman's  dress.  Her  face  is  powdered,  the  eyebrows 
are  painted  black,  the  lips  coloured  with  safflower.  Three  hairpins 
with  gold  birds  of  paradise  adorn  the  head,  covered  with  a  light  hat. 
An  upper  garment  of  variegated  pattern,  with  purple  shoulder-bands, 
and  a  nether  garment  of  scarlet  are  held  round  the  waist  by  a  white 
girdle  five  inches  wide.  White  cuffs  covering  the  hands,  white 
stockings,  and  silk  shoes  of  red,  purple,  green,  or  blue,  complete  the 
costume. 

With  slow  steps,  supported  by  three  festively  dressed  waiting- 
women,  the  bride  descends  the  staircase,  steps  on  to  the  place  pre- 
pared for  the  ceremony,  and  stops,  with  her  face  covered  with  the 
fan  and  turned  to  the  east.  She  then  bows  twice  to  the  bridegroom, 
who  returns  the  same  compliment.  After  that,  two  vessels,  one 
adorned  with  red,  the  other  with  blue  ribbons,  are  filled  with  wine  by 
two  maidservants  and  handed  by  them  to  the  bride  and  bridegroom. 
They  both  take  a  sip  at  the  same  time,  and  this  act  concludes  the 
ceremonial  of  the  wedding.  Then  they  are  separately  conducted  into 
the  house.  The  bridegroom  and  his  father  are  invited  to  the  banquet, 
at  which  all  the  relations  of  the  bride  take  part.  After  its  conclusion 
the  bridegroom  drives  home  to  his  house,  but  the  bride  does  not  follow 
him  till  the  next  propitious  calendar  day. 

And  now  begins  a  life  of  complete  seclusion  for  the  Korean 
wife.  She  may  not  show  herself  to  any  married  man  but  her  own 
husband — nay,  not  even  to  the  other  male  members  of  her  own 
family. 

In  former  times,  as  soon  as  the  gates  were  closed  at  night,  all  men, 
especially  in  Seoul,  used  to  go  into  their  houses,  and  no  man  showed 
himself  in  the  darkness  of  the  street,  because  the  ladies  of  the  rich 
classes  had  the  privilege  of  going  out  at  that  time.  Deeply  veiled, 
with  their  tiny  paper  lanterns  in  their  hand,  they  would  glide  along 
from  house  to  house  to  visit  their  lady  friends.  But  recently  this 
custom,  which  was  formerly  affirmed  by  law,  has  come  into  disuse. 
Thieves  had  profited  by  these  nocturnal  visits  of  ladies,  and  had 
often  robbed  them  of  their  jewels,  and  as  the  police  were  not  able  to 


1904  THE    WOMEN  OF  KOREA  45 

stop  the  ever-increasing  number  of  such  cases,  the  old  custom  was 
discontinued  altogether. 

Now  ladies  of  the  best  families,  in  very  rare  cases,  go  out  at  night 
deeply  veiled  and  accompanied  by  their  husbands.  The  women  of 
the  lower  classes  are  sometimes  seen  in  the  streets  in  daytime,  but 
also  deeply  veiled  and  dressed  in  green  garments  with  red  sleeves, 
which  latter  are  only  used  to  cover  the  face  of  the  woman. 

G.  J.  R.  GLUNICKE. 


46  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 


THE  POPE  AND    THE  NOVELIST 

A   REPLY  TO  MR.    RICHARD  BAGOT 

*  POUR  vivre  tranquille  il  faut  vivre  loin  des  gens  d'eglise,'  says  a 
witty  Frenchman.  There  is  a  certain  amount  of  truth  in  this  for 
a  particular  class  of  minds.  The  Church's  office  is  to  teach  and,  in 
her  own  province,  to  rule  her  children ;  she  does  the  work  of  conver- 
sion. But  suppose  a  man  enters  into  that  relation  with  the  Church 
which  is  understood  by  the  term  '  becoming  a  convert,'  and  then  sets 
to  work  to  convert  her,  it  is  pretty  sure  that  his  life  will  not  be  very 
peaceful.  There  will  be  friction  at  every  point ;  nothing  will  please 
him ;  nothing  will  be  done  rightly.  From  Pope  down  to  curate  there 
will  be  surely  something  amiss  which  he  will  want  to  set  right.  So 
the  convert  finds  himself  always  at  loggerheads  with  his  bishops  and 
pastors,  who  object  to  being  thrown  out  of  their  office  and  submitting 
to  him  as  a  magistrate  and  master.  '  Suum  cuique,'  which,  being 
interpreted,  means,  '  Let  the  cobbler  stick  to  his  last.'  I  have  heard 
of  a  convert  who  was  anxious  to  know  what  was  his  exact  position  in 
the  Church  which  he  felt  he  had  honoured  by  joining.  '  Your  exact 
position  in  the  Church  ?  '  quoth  the  padre.  '  That's  easy  enough  to 
decide.  Kneeling  before  the  altar  and  sitting  before  the  pulpit. 
Some  do  not  realise  the  lesson  that  they  get  more  from  the  Church 
than  she  does  from  them.  The  favour,  I  hold,  is  all  on  her  side  when 
she  receives  them  into  communion  and  gives  them  what  they  cannot 
find  elsewhere.  Hence  it  happens  that  such  persons  who  have  failed 
to  grasp  the  first  principles  of  submission  to  a  teacher  and  ruler,  when 
they  find  that  they  are  not  accepted  at  their  own  valuation,  do  one 
of  two  things.  After  a  period  of  restiveness  they  either  lapse  or 
become  that  peculiar  specimen  of  humanity  a  '  bored '  convert. 
Mr.  Richard  Bagot  himself  remarks :  '  It  is  not  easy  to  feel  religious 
when  you  are  feeling  bored.'  For  such  the  only  remedy  '  pour  vivre 
tranquille '  is  to  live  far  from  us  '  gens  d'eglise.'  But  when  did  the 
moth  ever  forsake  the  candle  when  once  it  had  felt  the  fascination  ? 
I  will  not  for  a  moment  say  that  the  laity,  hereditary  Catholics  or 
neophytes,  have  not  got  their  rights,  nor  will  I  say  that  these  rights 
have  been,  or  always  are,  respected.  But  this  is  a  very  different 
position  from  that  of  adopting  an  attitude  of  perpetual  girding  against 


1904  THE  POPE  AND   THE   NOVELIST  47 

authority.  While  I  have  sympathy  with  any  movement  which 
seeks  by  legitimate  methods  to  obtain  that  recognition  of  the  rights 
of  the  laity  which  the  Church  has  always  acknowledged,  I  will  have 
nothing  to  do  with  the  '  bored  '  convert  except  to  wish  that  he  would 
take  his  boredom  elsewhere. 

Mr.  Richard  Bagot  has  given  us  his  views  on  the  Pope  and  church 
music,  and  dignifies  them  as  a  '  Roman  Catholic  protest.'  It  may  be 
as  well,  before  considering  these  views,  to  understand  Mr.  Bagot's 
position.  He  is  the  author  of  several  brilliant  novels,  and  from  these 
and  other  writings  I  gather  that  a  prolonged  stay  in  Rome  has  had 
its  usual  effect.  A  man  becomes  there,  or  at  least  used  to  become,  a 
partisan.  He  is  either  white  or  black  and  can  see  no  good,  nor  tolerate 
the  idea  of  there  being  any  good,  in  the  opposite  faction.  I  think 
the  position,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  is  changing ;  and,  with  the  excep- 
tion of  extremists  on  either  side,  most  sensible  people  are  becoming 
grey  or  piebald.  But  not  so  Mr.  Bagot.  He  has  evidently  thrown 
himself,  heart  and  soul,  into  the  Quirinal  party.  Therefore  we  must 
expect  to  find  that  his  presentments  of  life  among  the  Vaticanists  are 
tinged  with  the  effects  of  party  spirit.  Does  he  want  a  villain  ?  The 
blacks  supply  any  number.  A  hero  ?  Where  should  one  be  found 
but  among  the  whites  ?  I  am  not  going  to  say  that  in  either  ranks 
heroes  or  villains  might  not  be  found ;  but  I  am  of  opinion  that,  as  a 
novelist,  Mr.  Bagot  belongs  to  the  school  of  the  late  Mrs.  Henry  Wood, 
who  drew  an  unnatural  line  of  demarcation  between  good  and  bad. 
However  it  appears  that  Mr.  Bagot  is  a  bored  convert,  so  nothing 
the  Pope  does  pleases  him.  There  we  must  leave  it.  It  is  unfor- 
tunate for  Pius  X.,  perhaps ;  or  for  Mr.  Bagot.  I  have  every  wish  to 
do  my  spiriting  gently,  and  I  hope  that  I  have  not  in  any  way  mis- 
represented his  position ;  but  I  think  it  is  necessary  to  make  that 
clear  before  I  approach  his  criticisms. 

We  differ  fundamentally,  I  find,  on  the  philosophy  of  sacred  music. 
This  is  but  natural.  Mr.  Bagot  admits  that  he  does  not  examine  the 
matter  from  the  point  of  view  of  a  musical  expert ;  he  makes  the 
wholly  unnecessary  admission  that  technical  knowledge  is  wanting  in 
his  case.  And  yet,  as  it  is  a  question  which  touches  upon  the  pro- 
founder  side  of  the  artistic  and  psychological  nature  of  sacred  music, 
why  does  he  so  airily  write  about  the  '  insult  offered  to  music '  by  '  this 
unfortunate  and  illogical  decree  '  ?  I  fear  that  I  shall  find  abundant 
evidence  that  the  imaginative  gift,  so  valuable  to  a  writer  of  fiction, 
has  stood  in  the  way  when  he  approaches  a  subject  which  deals  with 
a  matter  of  fact.  He  has  entirely  missed  the  true  nature  of  the  ques- 
tion altogether.  The  spiritual,  even  the  artistic  point  of  view  has 
not  troubled  him  at  all.  He  has  not  taken  into  consideration  the 
elementary  fact  that  music  was  made  for  men,  not  men  for  music, 
and  that  the  art,  if  it  be  a  means  to  a  certain  end,  must  logically  be 
regulated  by  that  end,  and  not  vice  versa. 


48  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

Pius  X.,  who  is  a  true  artist  and,  moreover,  a  practical  musician, 
has  issued  an  Instruction  on  Sacred  Music,  which  he,  as  head  of  the 
Church,  puts  forth  as  a  '  juridical  code  '  on  the  subject.  After  all,  he 
is  only  enforcing,  as  a  strong  and  sensible  ruler  will  do,  existing  legis- 
lation. From  the  days  of  Gregory  I.  (604),  if  not  earlier,  the  Popes 
have  issued  decrees  on  the  subject  and  Councils  have  legislated.  In 
the  pontificate  of  Leo  XIII.  decrees  were  issued  several  times  on  the 
subject ;  and  this  very  Instruction  is  identical  with  a  memorandum 
which  Cardinal  Sarto  sent  from  Venice  to  his  predecessor.  It  is  also 
to  be  found  in  substance  in  a  long  circular  addressed  by  the  Patriarch 
of  Venice  to  his  clergy.  The  copy  before  me  bears  the  date  of  the  1st 
of  May,  1895.  To  hint,  as  Mr.  Bagot  does,  with  a  half -veiled  sneer  at  the 
Pope's  antecedents,  that  the  Instruction  is  largely  due  to  the  influ- 
ence of  Don  Perosi  is  too  extravagant  an  idea  for  those  who  know 
the  independent  and  strong  character  of  Pius  X.  It  is  rather  he  who 
discovered  and  influenced  Perosi,  and  uses  him,  with  other  instru- 
ments, for  carrying  out  his  will.  In  determining  to  enforce  the 
Church's  legislation  the  Pope  has  been  so  unlucky  as  to  displease 
the  novelist,  who  promptly  publishes  '  A  Roman  Catholic  Protest.' 
Didn't  some  sartorial  artists,  three  in  number,  from  over  the  water, 
Southwark-way,  once  make  a  memorable  protest  or  declaration  ? 
Mr.  Bagot  should  not  emulate  these  '  representatives  of  the  people  of 
England.' 

I  do  claim  in  this  matter  to  write  somewhat  as  a  musical  expert 
and  with  technical  knowledge,  if  the  facts  count  for  anything 
that  more  than  thirty  years  ago  I  began  life  as  a  professional  musi- 
cian, and  in  my  time  have  been  choirmaster  of  one  of  the  leading 
churches  in  London.  What  are  called  '  the  Masses '  I  have  sung, 
taught,  and  conducted  times  out  of  number,  and  there  is  little  of  the 
best  modern  music  with  which  I  am  not  familiar.  But,  much  as  I 
love  Mozart — I  take  him  here  only  as  a  type — I  came  to  the  conclu- 
sion, years  ago,  that  music  of  this  school  represents  only  a  distortion 
of  the  true  artistic  idea  of  Church  music.  Mind,  I  am  speaking  only 
of  it  as  the  music  for  worship.  If  the  ideal  of  the  times  and  places 
where  Mozart  wrote  was  a  false  one,  I  see  no  reason  why  we  should 
be  obliged  to  accept  it  to-day  simply  because  the  master  composed 
under  the  adverse  influences  that  surrounded  him. 

Let  me  put  it  in  this  way:  We  must  have  either  the  music  of 
worship  or  the  worship  of  music.  You  must  choose  one  horn  of  the 
dilemma,  and  you  will  be  led  in  your  choice  by  the  way  you  answer 
the  question :  Is  music  made  for  men  or  men  for  music  ?  Surely 
there  can  be  no  doubt  as  to  the  reply.  Music  must  either  be  a  mere 
melodious  vehicle  for  soul-moving  words,  or  these  count  for  nothing 
and  are  to  be  overpowered  by  the  sounds.  In  this  case  the  com- 
poser, the  singer,  and  the  accompaniment  will  represent  the  chief 
power  in  the  music  of  worship.  But  is  not  this  to  make  the  frame 


1904  THE   POPE  AND   THE   NOVELIST  49 

more  important  than  the  picture,  the  setting  than  the  jewel  ?  Or, 
in  a  more  homely  phrase,  is  not  this  putting  the  cart  before  the  horse  ? 

In  the  music  of  worship  the  true  artistic  sense  demands  truth, 
for  nothing  can  be  beautiful  except  it  be  true  ;  and  truth  demands 
that,  in  this  style  of  music,  the  words  should  be  paramount  and  music 
the  handmaiden ;  for  it  is  in  the  text  that  we  find  life  and  truth,  not 
bound,  but  quick  and  powerful. 

Music  by  itself  is  vague  unless  it  has  associations.  Its  very  vague- 
ness makes  it  the  least  material  of  arts,  and,  therefore,  when  properly 
directed,  such  a  valuable  help  in  worship.  But  this  quality  is  also 
its  danger.  It  may  so  soon  escape  control  and  become  a  veritable 
hindrance. 

Now,  I  take  it  that  worship  is  not  vague  but  definite.  I  cannot 
understand  people  who  hoot  and  croon  at  the  moon  as  an  act  of 
worship  to  the  Unknowable,  like  Mr.  Mallock's  Paul  and  Virginia  on 
one  memorable  night  in  the  Chasuble  Islands.  No  ;  for  reasonable 
beings  a  definite  idea  is  required  in  the  act  of  worship.  Hence 
words,  uttered  or  thought,  are  necessary ;  and  if  there  be  used  that 
subtle  influence  of  a  well  ordered  succession  of  musical  intervals 
which  we  call  melody,  either  alone  or  in  combination  with  other 
melodies,  it  can  only  rightly  be  employed  to  draw  out  of  the  soul  the 
hidden  force  and  life  within  the  words.  How  is  it  that,  in  so  many 
cases,  words  spoken  have  less  effect  than  words  sung  ?  What  is  the 
marvellous  power  of  music  to  '  raise  a  mortal  to  the  skies '  ?  Read 
a  hymn  and  sing  a  hymn,  and  note  the  psychological  difference.  The 
simpler  the  strain  the  more  marked  is  the  increase  in  pathos,  spirit, 
warmth,  and  love ;  the  more  complex  the  music  the  more  the  mind 
is  distracted  from  the  thoughts.  In  this  the  senses  take  the  upper 
hand  and  the  definite  yields  to  the  vague ;  in  that  reason  controls  all. 

Regarding,  then,  the  music  of  worship  as  a  help  to  prayer,  and  as 
a  means  of  attaining  union  with  God,  we  get  to  the  fundamental 
difference  which  exists  between  sacred  music  and  all  other  kinds  of 
music.  In  the  act  of  worship  I  want  a  help,  not  a  distraction.  The 
true  artist  will  recognise  this  and  will  supply  the  need ;  he  will  not 
thrust  upon  me  something  else,  beautiful  as  it  may  be  in  its  own  line, 
which  does  not  suit  the  end  for  which  it  is  to  be  used.  If  I  want 
bread  what  is  the  use  of  giving  me  a  stone  ?  It  is,  therefore,  from 
the  standpoint  of  worship  that  the  question  of  sacred  music  must  be 
judged  and  the  dispute  between  the  Sovereign  Pontiff  and  the  novelist 
settled. 

In  the  Instruction  on  Sacred  Music  the  Pope  lays  down  certain 
principles  for  our  guidance  ;  and  I  can  safely  leave  it  to  my  readers 
to  decide  who  has  the  real  artistic  instinct,  Pius  X.  or  Mr.  Bagot. 
The  Pope  says : 

Sacred  music  should  possess,  in  the  highest  degree,  the  qualities  proper  to 
the  liturgy,  or,  in  particular,  holiness,  goodness  of  form,  from  which  its  other 
VOL.  LVI — No.  329  E 


50  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

quality  of  universality  spontaneously  springs.  (1)  It  must  be  ho'y;  and 
therefore  must  exclude  all  profanity,  not  only  in  itself,  but  in  the  manner  in 
which  it  is  presented  by  those  who  execute  it.  (2)  It  must  be  true  art ;  for 
otherwise  it  will  be  impossible  for  it  to  exercise  on  the  minds  of  those  who 
listen  to  it  that  efficacy  which  the  Church  aims  at  obtaining  when  admitting 
into  her  liturgy  the  art  of  musical  sounds.  (3)  It  must,  at  the  same  time, 
be  universal,  in  the  sense  that  while  every  nation  is  allowed  to  admit  into 
its  ecclesiastical  compositions  those  special  forms  which  may  be  said  to 
constitute  its  native  music,  still  these  forms  must  be  subordinated,  in  such  a 
manner,  to  the  general  characteristics  of  sacred  music  that  no  person  of  any 
nation  may  receive  an  impression  other  than  good  on  hearing  them. 

So  far  for  the  Pope  as  an  artist. 

Now  let  me  take  some  of  Mr.  Bagot's  examples.  For  the  moment 
I  put  out  of  the  question  that  they  come  under  the  Church's  ban. 
But,  as  he  judges  the  matter  from  what  he  is  pleased  to  call  the 
artistic  side,  I  will  take  him  on  his  own  ground. 

The  drinking  song  from  La  Traviata  was  composed  by  Verdi  for 
quite  another  end  than  to  be  played  at  the  most  solemn  moments  of 
Catholic  worship.  I  need  not  recall  the  scene  nor  the  subject  of  the 
opera.  To  associate  such  music  with  the  Mass  is  repulsive  to  every 
feeling  of  decency,  while  to  divorce  it  from  its  surroundings  is,  indeed, 
an  '  insult  offered  to  music.'  Verdi  would  be  the  first  to  protest 
against  such  a  caricature  of  his  conception.  Then,  '  A  Movement,' 
from  Bizet's  L1 'Arlesienne,  is  turned  into  a  Sanctus — a  hymn  which 
recalls  the  solemn  worship  of  angels  round  about  the  Throne.  Might 
not  Bizet  complain : 

This  does  not  represent  my  idea  at  all.  That  melody  and  those  harmonies 
were  conceived  as  illustrating  one  particular  train  of  thought :  they  are  one 
distinct  conception.  You  have  no  right  to  misrepresent  me  or  to  vilify  me  as 
an  artist.  Were  I  to  undertake  to  set  the  angelic  hymn  to  music  I  should 
approach  the  task  in  a  very  different  frame  of  mind  to  what  I  had  when 
I  penned  that  part  of  my  opera  ? 

Such  adaptations  are  artistic  outrages  which  no  self-respecting 
musician  would  attempt.  Such  things  are  done,  more's  the  pity. 
That  there  were  also  days  when  a  Mass  was  patched  together  from 
Le  Nozze  di  Figaro  and  another  from  Don  Juan  is  a  curious  contribu- 
tion to  a  study  on  music  and  morals.  That  they  do  these  things  in 
Italy  is  an  indication  of  the  degradation  of  art  in  that  once  artistic 
country ;  and  I  will  make  a  present  of  them  to  Mr.  Bagot,  together 
with  the  paper  flowers,  tinsel,  sham  marbles,  stucco,  and  theatrical 
scene-painting  which  also  find  favour  in  that  country.  For  my  part, 
I  am  proud,  as  a  musician,  to  take  my  stand  by  the  side  of  the  fear- 
less Pius  X.,  who  recalls  us  to  a  better  sense  of  true  art.  We  need 
reform  here  in  England  as  well  as  elsewhere. 

Mr.  Bagot's  blunders  will  perhaps  better  be  recognised  when  I  set 
forth  what  the  Pope  really  has  done.  He  does  not  confine  us,  as  one 
would  think  from  Mr.  Bagot's  article,  to  the  plain  song ;  he  allows 


1904  THE  POPE  AND   THE  NOVELIST  51 

the  classical  school,  of  which  Palestrina  and  our  English  Byrde  are 
the  supreme  types,  and  also  modern  music,  provided  it  contains  nothing 
profane.  Pius  X.  is  no  dreamer  of  the  past.  He  says  : 

The  Church  has  always  recognised  and  favoured  the  progress  of  the 
Arts,  admitting  to  the  service  of  worship  everything  good  and  beautiful 
discovered  by  genius  in  the  course  of  ages — always,  however,  with  due  regard 
to  the  liturgical  laws.  Consequently  modern  music  is  also  admitted  in  the 
Church,  since  it,  too,  furnishes  compositions  of  such  excellence,  sobriety,  and 
gravity  that  they  are  in  no  way  unworthy  of  the  liturgical  functions. 

You  wouldn't  think  it,  but  Pius  X.  has  committed  the  grave 
artistic  error  of  saying  that  the  music  of  the  Church  is  one  thing  and 
the  music  of  the  world  is  another.  And  he  has  done  worse ;  he  has 
acted  up  to  his  conviction. 

Then,  again,  the  use  of  an  orchestra  is  not  forbidden,  but  it  is 
regulated  according  to  existing  laws.  For  instance  : 

The  employment  of  the  piano  is  forbidden  in  church,  as  is  also  that  of 
noisy  or  frivolous  instruments,  such  as  drums,  cymbals,  bells,  and  the  like. 

A  very  fair  orchestra  can  be  got  together  without  these.  I  would 
that  such  a  law,  as  to  the  piano,  had  been  enforced  in  Spain  when  I  was 
asked  to  celebrate  a  Gild  Mass.  As  soon  as  I  began  the  service  a 
pianist  struck  up  a  very  cascade  of  arpeggios,  and  then  treated  me 
to  a  fantasia  on  Carmen,  with  other  choice  morceaux  of  a  strictly  non- 
liturgical  character.  I  did  not  find  the  Toreador's  Song  any  help  to 
devotion  ;  neither  do  I  fancy  that  Italians  find  it  in  La  donna  e  mobile. 
I  must  leave  Mr.  Bagot  to  enjoy  whatever  spiritual  advantages  he 
can  gain  from  listening  to  the  drinking  song  in  La  Traviata,  or  from 
a  Mass  faked  up  from  U Arlesienne  in  a  London  sanctuary  '  where  a 
shilling  is  charged  for  a  front  seat.'  By-the-by,  when  hearing  the 
last-named  composition  (I  use  the  word  in  its  primitive  sense)  how, 
from  a  front  seat,  could  he  judge  '  by  the  faces  of  the  members  of 
the  congregation  '  that  it  was  a  decided  success,  not  merely  artistic, 
but  also  devotional  ?  I  fear  that,  on  this  occasion  at  least,  the  '  most 
brilliant  style '  of  the  composition  interfered  somewhat  with  his  own 
private  devotions.  I  may  be  wrong. 

The  plain  song,  which  Mr.  Bagot  affirms  '  has  never  been  and 
never  can  be  a  form  of  music  which  evokes  answering  chords  in  the 
heart  of  the  vast  majority  of  the  laity,'  has,  however,  not  only  evoked 
the  hearty  admiration  of  great  musicians  (I  do  not  say  all  parts  of 
it),  but  has  also  been  the  staple  music  in  the  Church  for  more  than  a 
thousand  years ;  and  I  don't  think,  if  we  take,  say,  France,  or  England 
before  the  Reformation,  that  it  can  be  said  that  '  answering  chords ' 
were  not  evoked,  nor  that  men  did  not  find,  when  before  the  altar, 
through  the  plain  song,  a  means  of  forgetting  the  cares  of  the  world. 
Go  over,  for  instance,  to  Normandy  or  Brittany  and  listen  to-day, 

E   2 


52  THE  NINETEENTH   CENTUEY  July 

and  then  judge  how  far  Mr.  Bagot  is  correct  in  his  statements.     There 
is  nothing  like  facts  to  correct  fancies.     The  truth  is,  as  Shakespeare 

QO  TTQ     * 

The  plain  song  is  most  just :  for  humours  do  abound. 

I  can  well  understand  that  those  who  go  to  our  churches  '  for  the 
gratification  of  the  eyes,  the  ears,  and  possibly  the  nose,'  as  Mr.  Bagot 
puts  it,  don't  care  for  the  plain  song. 

Candidly,  it  is  not  meant  for  them  nor  for  bored  converts.  It  is 
meant  for  those  who  come  to  pray. 

Let  us  have  no  more  vapourings  about  '  the  superficial  treatment 
to  which  the  most  divine  of  the  arts  has  been  subjected  by  the  authori- 
ties of  the  Church,'  or  about  a  practical  '  divorce  of  religion  from  its 
highest  earthly  coadjutor,'  or  '  of  the  total  want  of  artistic  discrimina- 
tion shown  by  Pius  X.  and  his  advisers.'  I  find  the  superficiality, 
the  divorce,  and  the  total  want  of  artistic  discrimination  in  Rome, 
indeed,  but  not  at  the  Vatican  ;  but — at  Mr.  Bagot's  address. 

Again,  I  read  in  the  article  on  '  The  Pope  and  Church  Music 
some  words  with  which  I  agree.    But  let  us  see  how  we  get  on. 

The  love  of  melody  is  strong  in  all  nationalities  and  in  all  classes ;  and,  in 
the  lower  classes  especially,  mere  harmony  will  scarcely  supply  its  place.  We 
venture  to  say  that  a  simple  melody,  however  insufficiently  rendered,  will 
appeal  to  the  sense  of  the  majority  of  laymen  with  greater  directness  than  any 
harmony  will ;  and  that  we  have  yet  to  learn  that  the  senses  are  not  very 
important  factors  in  any  form  of  religious  worship. 

Mr.  Bagot  has  yet  to  learn  a  few  things.  Meanwhile  I  ask  :  What, 
is  Saul  also  among  the  prophets  ?  No  ;  for  a  few  lines  on  I  read  that 
the  plain  song  is  monotonous  and  lacks  melody.  To  speak  of  it  in 
this  way  is  a  curious  exhibition.  One  of  my  objections  against  the 
Gallican  chant,  as  restored  by  the  French  monks  of  Solesmes,  is  its 
over-elaboration.  Plain  song  is  anything  but  monotonous.  As  for 
lacking  melody,  why,  it  is  essentially  melody  and  nothing  else.  It 
is  grave,  diatonic,  pure  and  simple  melody,  with  rhythm  free  and 
swinging.  It  is  full  of  a  haunting  beauty  of  an  unworldly  kind.  On 
the  other  hand,  harmony  of  any  sort  is  alien  to  it,  and  even  the 
accompaniment  of  the  organ  is  contrary  to  its  purely  vocal  and  simple 
melodic  nature.  I  grant  that  to  one  who  seems  to  accept  Verdi's 
drinking  song  in  La  Traviata  as  fitting  music  to  accompany  a  solemn 
act  of  worship  plain  song  may  not  appeal,  for  it  is  unworldly  in  con- 
ception, its  ideal  is  spiritual,  and  its  object  is  to  take  men  away  from 
the  busy  hum  of  the  world  and  leave  them  free  and  undistracted 
before  the  altar.  Does  not  liturgy  seem  to  demand  a  staid  and 
solemn  diction  ?  Archaicism,  I  hold,  is  one  of  its  most  potent  charms 
and  a  great  factor.  Who  would  think  of  mingling  slang  expressions 
of  the  day  with  the  matchless  music  of  the  Authorised  Version  of  the 
Bible  ?  If  this  holds  good  of  the  words  how  much  more  of  the  music 


1904  THE  POPE  AND    THE   NOVELIST  53 

which  is  intended  to  invest  them  with  a  greater  soul-searching  and 
heart-lifting  power  ? 

As  plain  song  is  perfect  melody  and  has  nothing  properly  to  do 
with  harmony,  while  I  accept  Mr.  Bagot's  words  I  must  entirely  reject 
his  conclusion  as  being  based  on  a  complete  misunderstanding  of  the 
very  nature  of  the  plain  song  itself. 

The  final  error  which  in  his  opinion  stamps  the  Papal  edict  as 
ill-advised  is  to  the  effect  that  Protestants  will  be  no  longer  attracted 
to  our  churches,  and  that  converts  will  be  fewer,  and,  in  fact,  that  the 
Ritualists  will  get  them  all.  Well,  if  that  be  so,  my  Anglican  friends 
are  welcome  to  all  such,  for  I  am  old-fashioned  enough  to  prefer 
quality  rather  than  quantity.  Some  kind  of  converts,  I  think, 
would  lead  a  more  tranquil  life  outside  the  Church  altogether.  They 
do  us  no  good ;  and  it  is  difficult  to  see  where  they  find  happiness  or 
how  they  can  '  feel  religious  when  they  feel  bored.' 

If  the  effect  of  the  new  regulations  be,  as  Mr.  Bagot  prophesies,  to 
lessen  the  number  of  visitors  who  '  are  there  for  the  gratification  of 
the  eyes,  the  ears,  and,  possibly,  the  nose,'  I,  for  one,  shall  be  un- 
feignedly  glad,  for  I  have  no  desire  to  see  our  houses  of  prayer  turned 
into  concert  halls,  or  the  sacred  mysteries  of  our  worship  made  a 
raree  show  for  the  stranger  within  our  gates. 

Does  the  Catholic  Church  organise  her  worship  for  Protestant 
'  ears,  eyes,  and,  possibly,  noses '  ?  Does  she  even  take  them  into 
consideration  ? 

Of  course  there  are  those  who  come  to  listen  and  remain  to 
pray ;  but  when  we  have  so  much  to  do  to  make  our  own  people 
solid  Christians  we  cannot  spare  the  time  to  go  out  fishing  for  whales 
with  sprats.  And  how  often  does  it  happen  that  the  fish,  when 
caught,  turns  out  to  be  but  a  pitiful  red  herring  ! 

If  the  decree  be  carried  out  loyally  in  this  country  we  shall 
approach  more  closely  to  the  old  Catholic  type  of  musical  service 
which  has  been  so  largely  kept  in  our  national  cathedrals — a  type 
devotional,  melodious,  sacred,  and  national  withal. 

I  cannot  imagine  the  organist  of  St.  Paul's  or  the  Abbey  playing 
the  drinking  song  from  La  Tramata  as  a  voluntary,  or  arranging  an 
anthem  out  of  Bizet's  opera.  And  why  should  we  have  a  lower 
standard  ? 

If  at  St.  Paul's  no  singer  is  allowed  who  is  not  a  communicant, 
why  should  we,  of  all  folk  in  the  world,  be  laxer,  and  evade  the 
law  ?  Why  should  we  admit  non-Catholics,  who  disbelieve  in  the 
words  they  sing,  to  form  part  of  our  choirs  and  exercise  what  the  Pope 
calls  '  a  real  liturgical  office '  ?  These  are  anomalies  of  our  present 
situation,  and  show  how  necessary  is  some  reform. 

Why,  too,  I  may  ask,  should  costly  choirs  be  kept  up  for  '  the 
e  yes,  the  ears,  and  possibly  the  noses '  of  the  non-Catholics  who, 
Mr.  Bagot  says,  form  the  very  large  proportion  of  the  congregations, 


54  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

when  our  churches  are  in  debt,  our  schools  in  danger  of  being 
starved,  and  our  clergy,  many  of  them,  living  in  poverty  and  want  ? 

No  ;  I  feel  strongly  that,  thanks  to  the  clear  and  determined  action 
of  the  Pope,  it  is  now  possible  for  us  to  get  rid  of  what  has  been  a 
source  of  real  weakness  and  undoubted  disedification.  I  don't  want 
to  play  to  the  gallery  of  the  British  public,  which,  after  all,  will  be 
more  favourably  impressed  if  we  follow  a  higher  ideal  than  we  do 
at  present. 

According  to  Mr.  Bagot  our  people  have  felt  the  difficulty,  and 
some  have  solved  it  in  the  practical  way  of  leaving  the  High  Mass 
to  the  stranger.  To  take  away  the  cause,  and,  in  the  words  of  the 
Pope,  to  make  special  efforts — 

to  restore  the  use  of  the  Gregorian  chant  by  the  people,  so  that  the  faithful 
may  again  take  a  more  active  part  in  the  ecclesiastical  offices,  as  was  the  case 
in  ancient  times, 

will  result  in  solid  good  all  round.  I  would  much  rather  see  our 
people  standing  up  and  joining  in  a  simple  melodious  plain  song  Mass 
than  have  them  sitting  down  to  listen  to  the  soprano  roulading  up 
the  scale  or  to  the  basso  slowly  getting  down  to  his  deepest  notes. 

These  things  being  so,  what  are  we  to  think  of  Mr.  Bagot' s  con- 
tention that '  the  educated  portion  of  the  community,  whether  Roman 
Catholic  or  Protestant,  will  openly  resent  the  insult  offered  to  music 
by  those  responsible  for  this  unfortunate  and  illogical  decree  '  ?  Those 
who  know  the  nature  and  object  of  sacred  music  will  be  grateful  to 
the  Pontiff  who  has  recalled  us  to  the  true  artistic  ideal  of  the  music 
of  worship  as  opposed  to  the  worship  of  music. 

ETHELRED  L.  TAUNTON. 


1904 


TRAMPS  AND    WANDERERS 


IN  a  preface  dealing  with  the  causes  of  the  French  Revolution  (Life 
of  Dantori)  Belloc  refers  to  the  process  of  remoulding,  which  is  a  part 
of  living,  and  which  the  State  as  well  as  the  individual  must  undergo 
as  a  condition  of  health.  '  What  test,'  he  says,  '  can  be  applied  by 
which  we  may  know  whether  a  reform  is  working  towards  rectification 
or  not  ?  None  except  the  general  conviction  of  a  whole  generation 
that  this  or  that  survival  obstructs  the  way  of  right  living,  the  mere 
sense  of  justice  expressed  in  particular  terms  on  a  concrete  point.  It 
is  by  this  that  the  just  man  of  any  period  feels  himself  bound.  .  .  .  This 
much  is  certain,  that  where  there  exists  in  a  State  a  body  of  men  who 
are  determined  to  be  guided  by  this  vague  sense  of  justice,  and  who 
are  in  sufficient  power  to  let  it  frame  their  reforms,  then  these  men 
save  a  State  and  keep  it  whole.  When,  on  the  contrary,  those  who 
make  or  administer  the  laws  are  determined  to  abide  by  a  phrase  or 
a  form,  then  the  necessities  accumulate,  the  burden  and  the  strain 
become  intolerable.'  That  such  a  '  phrase  and  form '  is  embodied 
in  the  '  tramp  ward,'  as  it  at  present  exists,  it  is  the  object  of  this 
article  to  prove,  and  the  reasons  why,  and  directions  in  which  change 
is  necessary. 

Let  us  first  take  an  illustration  from  change  of  function  within 
the  human  body.  It  is  well  known  that  we  possess  within  us  sur- 
vivals of  ancient  modes  of  life.  Public  attention  has  recently  been 
directed  to  one  such  by  the  peril  of  the  State.  '  Appendicitis  '  was  a 
scarcely  noticed  disease,  among  all  that  flesh  is  heir  to,  until  it  became 
a  rather  proud  distinction  to  suffer  '  like  the  King.'  Since  then  it  is 
surprising  how  many  cases  are  heard  of.  Everyone  now  knows  that 
a  small  tube  which  represents  what  in  lower  animals  has  a  useful 
function,  is  in  the  human  body  a  death-trap.  It  is  an  illustration  of 
the  way  in  which  slow  change  may  make  the  useful  positively  harmful. 

Let  us  review  swiftly  changes  in  the  body  politic  during  the  last 
few  hundred  years,  and  see  whether  the  tramp  ward  can  possibly 
fulfil  the  function  for  which  it  was  originally  intended.  Time  was 
when  every  Englishman  was  rooted  to  the  soil.  He  belonged  of  right 
to  some  locality  as  villein,  serf,  or  lord.  The  community  to  which 
he  belonged  demanded  service  of  him  as  protector  or  as  toiler.  The 
whole  of  life  was  framed  on  the  idea  of  mutual  service,  combined  with 

55 


56  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

relationship  to  the  soil.  This  status  still  remains  in  our  laws  of  settle- 
ment. We  pay  thousands  of  pounds  annually  to  remove  '  Mary 
Browns '  to  their  parish,  in  exchange  for  '  Samuel  Smiths '  from 
others,  the  whole  apparatus  of  removal  being  a  subtraction  sum  as 
regards  the  national  pocket.  '  Survivals  '  are  always  costly. 

Long  ago  there  swept  over  the  feudally  organised  community  the 
wind  of  change,  rearranging  the  social  units.  The  Black  Death 
decimated  the  population  and  made  labour  scarce,  and  then  arose  the 
phenomenon  of  the  '  free  labourer,'  the  landless  man,  who  travelled, 
offering  his  labour  for  hire,  eagerly  accepted.  At  first  the  chief  com- 
plaint was  that  he  required  higher  pay,  and  legislation  was  directed 
to  keeping  down  his  wages  and  re-settling  him  on  the  land.  He  was  a 
tramp,  but  one  so  useful  he  could  not  be  dispensed  with. 

But  by  degrees  came  other  movements,  due  to  the  introduction  of 
manufactures.  The  art  of  weaving  required  wool,  and  a  great  diver- 
sion of  land  from  agriculture  to  sheep-farming  took  place,  and  other 
changes  set  in.  The  result  was  a  decreased  demand  for  labour.  '  The 
landless  man '  became  a  social  danger.  Unable  to  support  himself, 
he  took  to  beggary  or  violence,  and  became  '  the  waster  who  will  not 
work  but  wanders  about,'  the  vagabond,  the  vagrant.  Ejected  by 
society  into  freedom,  he  perversely  acquired  a  taste  for  it,  and  bred 
children  '  on  the  road.'  Probably  most  of  our  vagrants  proper  are 
his  descendants.  He  was  penalised  to  an  extent  far  beyond  what 
modern  sentiment  would  allow,  he  was  pilloried  and  mutilated,  and 
even  put  to  death,  but  still  he  increased,  to  the  despair  of  legislators. 
Why  ?  Because  social  conditions  were  making  him  faster  than  he 
was  removed. 

We  are  all  familiar  with  the  phenomenon  of  a  boil,  abscess,  or  gather- 
ing. Matter  accumulates  and  increases,  having  the  power  of  repro- 
duction. As  a  continual  supply  is  created,  it  must  in  some  way  be 
drawn  off  before  healing  can  take  place ;  healthy  cells  replacing  the 
unhealthy  ones.  Just  so  in  the  body  politic,  unless  some  effectual 
means  are  taken  to  heal  a  running  source  of  social  evil,  it  festers  and 
increases. 

Fortunately  for  England  she  possessed  youthful  vigour  of  con- 
stitution. She  possessed  a  government  not  afraid  to  attack  large 
problems  on  a  large  scale,  and  to  create  institutions  that  could  effec- 
tually heal.  The  Poor-law  of  Elizabeth  was  a  successful  attempt  to 
deal  with  social  evil.  It  provided  '  work-houses '  for  the  destitute 
poor.  The  principle  embodied  in  it  was  that  no  man  was  to  be  idle. 
The  young  who  were  found  to  be  without  trade  were  to  be  apprenticed 
and  instructed  by  '  masters  of  handicraft.'  The  old  and  feeble  were 
to  be  cared  for,  vice  was  to  be  suppressed,  national  well-being — the 
common-wealth — was  the  end  in  view.  Each  man  was  to  be  anchored 
to  a  parish,  where  under  the  observation  of  his  fellows  he  could  live 
with  every  incentive  to  honest  toil.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  distress  did 


1904  TRAMPS  AND   WANDERERS  57 

disappear :  the  great  majority'  of  the  population  settled  on  the  land, 
or  in  thriving  industrial  communities.  There  remained  only  the 
decreasing  problem  of  the  vagrant,  a  heritage  from  the  past.  It  was 
necessary  to  deal  with  the  survivors  of  the  class  who  had  acquired  a 
taste  for  vagabondage.  All  united  in  regarding  them  as  meriting  a 
different  and  severely  repressive  treatment.  Laws  were  enacted  to 
prevent  private  persons  from  giving  doles,  except  '  broken  meats.' 
The  tramp  might  receive  shelter  and  a  meagre  allowance  of  food  in 
return  for  labour.  So  much  it  was  impossible  to  refuse  him,  because 
the  old  virtue  of  hospitality  had  to  a  large  extent  disappeared,  and 
monasteries,  which  used  to  act  as  poor  men's  hostels,  had  been  sup- 
pressed. National  sentiment  then,  as  now,  could  not  tolerate  a  starving 
man.  But  he  must  work  for  what  he  ate,  and  for  two  hundred  years, 
until  the  new  era,  the  old  law  availed,  mainly  because  there  was 
during  all  this  time  the  slow  and  steady  growth  of  England's  indus- 
trial supremacy. 

It  is  not  my  purpose  to  dwell  on  the  decay  of  the  Poor-law  due  to 
maladministration.  To  afford  relief  gratuitously  was  easier  than 
to  provide  work.  The  effective  superintendence  of  labour  was 
not  understood  as  well  as  it  is  now.  Self-interest  led  men  to  throw 
on  the  parish  part  of  the  wages  of  labour,  social  science  as  yet  being 
not  even  in  its  infancy.  The  Board  of  Trade  inquiry  into  the  unem- 
ployed question  gives  these  three  reasons  for  the  failure  of  the  Poor- 
law.  They  lie  at  the  door  of  its  administrators. 

It  would  form  a  most  interesting  study  to  correlate  the  increase 
or  decrease  of  vagrancy  to  phases  of  national  life,  as  a  sign  of  diseased 
conditions.  The  main  thing  to  be  noted  is  that  during  the  last  hundred 
years  a  further  change  in  national  arrangements,  characterised  by 
Arnold  Toynbee  as  '  the  Industrial  Revolution,'  has  involved  such 
differences  in  the  whole  structure  of  our  national  life  that  it  would 
be  as  absurd  to  expect  the  old  system  to  meet  the  need  as  to  expect 
the  vermiform  appendix  to  digest  for  the  human  body. 

Let  us  consider  on  what  national  well-being  depends  in  the  new 
era.  It  depends  on  the  Fluidity  of  Labour.  We  are  no  longer  an 
agricultural  and  settled  people.  Modern  conditions  demand  labour 
readily  accessible,  highly  differentiated,  and  very  fluid.  That  is  to 
say,  if  there  is  in  any  place  a  scarcity  of  labour,  it  is  desirable  that  it 
should  flow  there  as  speedily  as  possible.  If  there  is  '  demand '  in 
one  place  and  '  supply  '  in  another,  it  means  often  workless,  starving 
men,  who,  if  in  another  locality,  could  earn  their  living  readily ;  con- 
sequently conditions  are  exactly  reversed.  What  is  needed  is  greater 
fluidity.  Anything  that  by  opposing  ready  transit  creates  or  prolongs 
distress  works  harmfully.  It  is  said,  for  instance,  that  shipbuilding 
is  deserting  the  Thames  for  the  Tyne.  Evidently,  therefore,  the 
solution  of  London's  '  unemployed  problem '  lies  partially  in  the 
direction  of  the  transfer  of  labour  to  places  whither  its  industries  are 


58  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

going.  Destitute  men  who  have  held  on  to  waning  employment  as 
long  as  possible  must  needs  migrate  to  where  it  is  to  be  found.  It 
is  most  desirable  that  the  migration  should  be  as  speedy  as  possible. 
Thus  in  place  of  a  national  system  to  prevent  migration  we  need  one 
to  assist  it.  Therefore,  our  present  arrangement  and  regulation  of 
the  tramp  ward  is  obsolete  and  harmful. 

This  is  a  sweeping  statement,  and  the  conviction  has  only  been 
born  of  suffering.  It  has  only  been  reached  after  encountering  the 
full  measure  of  the  Government  regulations  for  tramps.  An  account 
of  this  experience  appeared  (May  1004)  in  the  Contemporary  Review. 
The  system  is  fitted  to  produce  disablement  from  ordinary  toil.  After 
two  nights  it  took  me  nearly  a  month  to  recover  my  normal  vigour. 
lam  now  convinced  that  no  mere  amelioration  of  conditions  is  necessary, 
but  an  entire  alteration  of  our  national  methods  of  dealing  with 
wanderers. 

\ -'  --s  The  word  '  wanderers '  is  used  advisedly.  There  is  a  vagrant 
class,  the  tramp  proper.  It  is  above  all  things  desirable  that  this 
class  should  not  be  recruited,  either  by  birth  or  by  the  drawing  into 
it  of  the  members  of  other  classes.  The  tramp  proper  is  parasitic 
and  preys  on  the  community.  But  what  is  there  in  our  present  social 
arrangements  to  prevent  his  breeding,  or  the  slipping  down  into 
trampdom  of  individuals  from  other  ranks  ?  Our  tramp  wards  give 
us  no  control  over  the  tramp.  Formerly  when  population  was  mainly 
stationary  he  was  known  as  a  '  tramp,'  now  he  is  indistinguishable 
from  the  '  out-of-works.'  He  mixes  with  the  genuine  working-man 
'  down  in  his  luck,'  to  the  latter's  great  detriment,  and  crowds  into 
our  slums  in  winter.  The  tramp  proper  in  our  days  may  fare  uncom- 
monly well,  it  is  the  genuine  working  man  who  suffers.  It  is  easy  to 
gain  a  living  in  numerous  ways  if  you  tell  lies  and  prey  on  the  public, 
or  earn  a  precarious  livelihood  by  hawking.  That  '  diffused  justice,' 
of  which  Belloc  speaks,  sees  something  is  wrong  and  will  not  refuse 
doles  or  charity.  The  supplementing  of  State  provision  for  destitu- 
tion on  every  hand  by  an  unorganised  system  of  charity  is  a  state  of 
things  not  to  be  desired.  Yet  as  a  phase  in  national  progress  it  is 
eminently  useful,  for  it  is  our  English  way  of  developing  new  organs, 
and  testing  their  use.  We  put  out  feelers  in  different  directions,  and 
by  and  by  we  find  they  have  prepared  the  way  for  national  institu- 
tions. But  the  burden  of  these  supplementary  institutions  is  increas- 
ingly felt,  and  amounts  to  a  second  Poor-rate,  resting  mainly  on 
members  of  society  humanitarian  in  sentiment.  Yet  even  this  does 
not  avail.  Distress  accumulates. 

Is  it  not  evident  that  we  face  once  more  the  Elizabethan  problem 
of  a  national  adaptation  of  institutions  to  meet  a  national  need  ? 

What  helps  have  we  to  the  right  solution  of  our  problem  ?  Let 
us  first  examine  the  direction  in  which  the  tramp  ward  is  unfit.  We 
may^state  that  it  acts  as  an  incentive  to  the  wrong  sort  of  migration. 


1904  TRAMPS  AND    WANDERERS  59 

It  is  altogether  misleading  to  regard  it  as  a  provision  for  destitution. 
The  man  or  woman  who  sleeps  in  a  tramp  ward,  who  is  honestly  seek- 
ing employment,  needs  above  everything  to  be  allowed  to  stay  in  one 
place  sufficiently  long  to  search  for  work.  It  is  stated  by  observers- 
in  different  parts  of  England,  and  by  the  wanderers  themselves,  that 
the  character  of  the  inmates  of  our  tramp  wards  is  changing.  It  is 
no  longer  to  the  same  extent  the  genuine  tramp  who  frequents  the 
workhouse.  He,  unless  he  is  very  '  hard  up,'  can  beg  or  obtain  4rf. 
for  a  common  lodging-house.  He  hates  and  avoids  the  workhouse. 
But  the  poor  incapable,  inefficient,  or  displaced  worker  (and  this  class 
increases)  gets  pressed  down ;  he  parts  with  all  he  possesses ;  he 
becomes  shabby  and  cannot  get  work ;  by  and  by  he  enters  a 
tramp  ward.  What  can  he  do  but  go  on  to  another  ?  Therefore, 
he  becomes  a  tramp,  but  not  a  voluntary  one  at  first.  This  tramping, 
however,  brings  him  inevitably  into  contact  with  the  outcast  class,  and 
acts  as  a  speedy  education.  If  he  has  any  brains  he  becomes  a  tramp 
proper  and  learns  to  prey  on  the  community.  Therefore,  we  may 
style  our  present  system  our  '  National  Tramp  Manufactory.' 

There  are  six  items  in  the  indictment  of  the  tramp  ward  which 
work  together  to  make  it  almost  impossible  for  those  who  drift  down 
into  it  to  earn  an  honest  living  if  they  wish  to.  Each  item  may  have 
altered  seriously  for  the  worse  since  the  tramp  ward  was  instituted. 

First  the  diet,  which  amounts  to  semi-starvation.  It  must  not  be 
forgotten  that  a  relative  change  may  make  what  is  eatable  in  one 
generation  utterly  distasteful  to  another ;  our  working  classes  usually 
eat  some  sort  of  butter  with  bread.  White  bread  is  less  sustaining 
than  the  older  forms  of  brown  bread.  Probably  the  old  bread  and 
'  skilly '  was  much  more  palatable  and  nutritious  than  the  present 
white  bread  and  thick  gruel,  and  much  nearer  the  ordinary  diet  of 
the  very  poor  labourer.  The  absence  of  drink  amounts  to  torture. 
Probably  the  old  thin  '  skilly,'  approaching  to  '  oatmeal  drink,'  served 
both  as  food  and  drink,  was  not  distasteful.  By  making  the  '  skilly  * 
better,  Guardians  have  really  deprived  the  diet  of  sufficient  moisture. 
Water  may  be,  but  is  not  always,  attainable ;  it  is  not  now  our  cus- 
tomary drink.  Half  the  food  allotted  is  not,  and  cannot  be,  eaten 
for  want  of  moisture.  Wise  tramps  take  in  tea  and  sugar,  but  are 
dependent  on  kindness  for  hot  water.  They  often  cannot  obtain 
it.  No  one  who  has  not  tried  can  imagine  the  longing  for  the  '  cup 
of  tea '  which  is  now  our  national  custom  for  two  meals  in  the  day. 
I  believe  workhouse  inmates  also  suffer  from  similar  deprivation,  and 
that  this  is  one  of  the  reasons  for  frequent  intoxication  on  '  liberty 
days.'  The  first  impulse  on  release  is  to  seek  a  drink. 

Secondly,  there  is  an  alteration  in  the  standard  of  cleanliness.  The 
bath  and  stoving  were  certainly  not  Elizabethan  characteristics.  The 
bath  as  a  sanitary  precaution  is  good  enough,  and  often  valued,  but 
it  is  given  under  conditions  that  are  not  health -producing,  often 


60  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

the  reverse.  Exemption  may  be  claimed  for  positive  illness,  but 
short  of  this  everyone  knows  that  care  should  be  exercised  in 
bathing.  To  the  weary  traveller,  cold  with  waiting  for  admission, 
a  hurried  bath  is  administered ;  in  some  cases  food  is  given  before 
the  bath,  which  is  most  prejudicial.  There  is  no  convenience  for 
drying  the  hair  or  wrapping  up  the  head.  Chilly  rooms  and  insuffi- 
cient bed-covering  may  produce  a  violent  cold.  Stoving  clothes  may 
be  necessary,  but  they  are  often  so  changed  in  appearance  as  to  be 
almost  unwearable,  and  in  their  creased  condition  form  a  certificate 
of  the  wrong  sort  for  the  wearer.  It  is  found  possible  in  shelters  to 
use  other  precautions,  and  those  of  the  tramp  ward  are  neither  com- 
fortable nor  sufficient.  It  is  not  the  object  of  the  writer  to  speak 
absolutely  against  the  bath  and  stoving,  which  may  be  very  desirable, 
but  only  to  point  out  that  a  heavy  cold  and  crumpled  clothing  will 
not  help  a  person  to  obtain  employment. 

There  is  next  the  task  set.  Probably  this  also  has  grown  in  severity 
under  the  mistaken  idea  that  it  would  put  down  tramping.  At  any 
rate  there  now  exist  weary  acres  of  tramp  wards  to  be  faithfully  and 
immaculately  scrubbed  !  The  older  workhouses  are  much  more  com- 
fortable and  acceptable  from  a  tramp's  point  of  view  than  the  newer 
ones.  Just  where  the  pressure  of  destitution  is  greatest,  in  the  large 
towns,  Guardians  often  pride  themselves  on  being  strict.  It  saves 
the  rates,  but  it  does  not  solve  the  problem.  In  the  end  the  rates 
suffer  in  other  directions. 

I  consider  that  the  ordinary  female  tramp  would  as  a  charwoman 
earn  about  2s.  and  her  food  by  her  day's  work.  Of  course,  some 
feeble,  aged,  or  ineffective  tramps  may  not  be  so  hard  pressed,  and 
there  is  a  great  difference  between  workhouses.  Still,  a  good  day's 
work  is,  as  a  rule,  exacted  from  both  men  and  women,  which  would 
earn  far  more  than  they  obtain.  A  woman  issues  spent  and  dirty, 
half  starved,  and  incapable  of  immediate  work,  she  cannot  wash  or 
change  her  clothes. 

There  is,  fourth,  the  sleeping  accommodation ;  a  couple  of  restless 
nights  is  a  bad  preparation  for  labour.  The  plank  bed  is  the  punish- 
ment of  a  prisoner,  the  chain  mattress  abominably  cold.  Straw  beds 
are  valued — and  no  wonder !  Can  the  public  realise  that  the  mere 
absence  of  rest  due  to  an  uneasy  couch  and  constant  interruptions 
to  sleep  is  almost  maddening  ?  Try  it,  and  find  out  how  you  will 
feel  after  two  nights  ! 

Fifthly,  there  are  the  hours.  If  work  is  not  obtained  (and  it  rarely 
can  be  obtained  after  the  early  morning)  there  is  the  long  weary  food- 
less  day,  the  walking  about  for  slow  hours  till  six  or  seven  o'clock. 
Release  on  the  second  day  may  be  early  enough  to  seek  work,  but  it 
is  not  always  so.  One  night's  shelter  and  early  release  is  greatly 
desired  by  the  wanderer  in  search  of  employment. 

Sixth,  there  is^the  entire  absence  of  any  attempt  to  help  the  helpless. 


1904  TRAMPS  AND    WANDERERS  61 

Bare  food  and  shelter  are  given  in  exchange  for  more  than  their  value 
in  work.  But  the  stranded  unfortunate  is  left  just  as  helpless,  more 
hungry,  more  thirsty,  with  clothes  in  worse  condition.  Is  this  worthy 
of  a  Christian  country  ?  Nations  are  to  be  judged  by  their  treatment 
of  the  destitute. 

It  may  be  replied  that  the  tramp  ward  is  not  intended  for  this 
class.  But  we  have  no  other  provision  for  the  man  seeking  work 
without  means.  It  was  publicly  stated  recently  in  a  prominent 
northern  paper  that  it  had  been  '  demonstrated '  that  there  was  no 
need  for  men  to  sleep  elsewhere. 

But  facts  overturn  fiction.  The  number  of  shelters  and  chari- 
table institutions  goes  on  increasing,  and  the  cry  of  the  homeless  is 
still  in  our  ears.  Everything  points  to  the  necessity  for  an  entire 
revision  of  our  Poor-law,  its  correlation  with  municipal  effort,  and  the 
wise  and  united  administration  of  our  scattered  charities.  Julie 
Sutter  sketched,  in  the  Commonwealth  for  April,  a  scheme  for  a  '  British 
National  League  of  Help,'  with  the  main  lines  of  which  I  am  in  accord. 
But  it  is  not  on  the  clergy  of  any  denomination,  or  on  the  Church  or 
churches  as  a  whole,  that  the  evolution  of  a  new  order  lies,  but  on 
the  nation  as  a  whole,  and  on  those  who  have  undertaken  to  be  '  Guar- 
dians '  of  national  interests  as  regards  the  destitute  poor  lies  at  the 
present  moment  a  tremendous  responsibility.  They  may  by  rigidly 
holding  to  existing  forms  block  the  path  of  progress  so  effectually 
that  no  true  reform  is  possible.  They  may  take  pride  in  machinery 
perfected  and  polished  which  is  yet  a  mill  that  crushes  life  and  hope 
out  of  thousands  of  their  fellow-countrymen.  It  is  astonishing  how 
an  established  institution  can  outlive  use  and  enslave  thought.  We 
are  bound  to  the  customary. 

Let  us  consider  the  subject  from  another  point  of  view.  In  an 
illuminating  sentence  at  the  close  of  the  one  already  quoted,  Belloc 
shows  how,  if  the  rigidity  of  the  social  organisation  exceeds  a  certain 
point,  man  reverts  to  his  natural  state.  It  is  the  same  in  the  body : 
if  diseased  conditions  in  any  part  become  acute,  '  matter '  forms. 
The  drilled  and  disciplined  unitary  cells  of  the  body  break  loose  into 
primitive  fecundity,  and  multiply  as  a  lower  form  of  life.  Inflamma- 
tion sets  in. 

The  unitary  tramp  proper  is  usually,  as  is  well  known,  a  centre 
of  contagion  and  infection,  physical  and  moral,  and  tends  to  breed 
lawlessly.  This  is  the  excuse  of  society  for  endeavouring  to  suppress 
him.  But  what  is  a  tramp  ?  Can  we  not  get  near  enough  to  him 
as  a  human  brother  to  understand  him  and  the  reason  of  his  being  ? 
Any  form  of  energy  is  useful  if  directed  into  right  channels.  It  requires 
ingenuity,  capability,  and  energy  to  be  a  tramp.  The  distinguishing 
feature  of  the  real  tramp  is  that  he  prefers  to  be  one.  He  will  not 
settle  into  a  quiet  place  in  the  social  economy,  he  prides  himself  on 
being  '  on  the  road.'  '  You  will  soon  get  to  like  it,  it  is  a  healthy 


62  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  July 

life,'  they  say  to  a  new  comer.  All  rescue  workers  know  it  is  almost 
impossible  to  settle  down  a  genuine  tramp  without  compulsion. 

Why  ?  Because  tramp  life  is  after  all  a  return  to  primitive  free- 
dom, or,  as  Belloc  says,  '  a  reversion  to  the  natural.'  What  do  we  of 
the  '  classes '  do  if  we  are  free  to  please  ourselves  ?  If  our  bodily 
wants  are  provided  for,  we  travel,  we  seek  society,  the  foe  we  most 
dread  is  '  ennui.'  The  tramp  is  a  man  who  has  discovered  that  sub- 
sistence is  possible  combined  with  freedom. 

In  him  the  primitive  instincts  of  our  race  assert  themselves.  The 
Saxon  and  the  Viking  swarmed  to  England  in  search  of  adventure  as 
well  as  of  nutrition.  The  Norman  followed.  We  are  a  nomadic  race 
at  bottom.  Does  not  the  breath  of  spring  make  us  long  for  green 
fields  and  blue  skies  and  freedom  from  social  trammels  ? 

In  the  time  of  Elizabeth  one  result  of  social  pressure  was  that  we 
swarmed  over  seas,  and  the  same  result  has  occurred  to-day.  Kipling 
has  expressed  in  a  fine  poem  the  feelings  of  a  soldier  who  has  tramped 
the  veldt  and  is  trying  to  settle  down  in  England. 

Me  that  'ave  been  what  I've  been, 

Me  that  'ave  gone  where  I've  gone, 
Me  that  'ave  seen  what  I've  seen  .  .  . 

Me  that  'ave  watched  'arf  a  world 
'Eave  up  all  shiny  with  dew, 

Kopje  on  kop,  to  the  sun 
As  soon  as  the  mist  let  'em  through  .  .  . 

And  I'm  rolling  his  lawns  for  the  Squire 
Me! 

Me  that  'ave  rode  through  the  dark 

Forty  mile  often  on  end 
With  only  the  stars  for  my  mark, 

An'  only  the  night  for  my  friend  .  .  . 
An'  the  silence,  the  shine,  and  the  size 

Of  the  'igh  inexpressible  skies  .  .  . 
Me! 

The  same  spirit  breathes  in  the  letter  from  a  tramp,  published 
in  the  Daily  News  of  April  18  : 

SIR, — I  am  a  tramp,  a  man  without  a  habitat.  No  outcry  uprose  in  winter 
while  the  East  End  sheltered  the  tramp.  When  he  trudges  west  after  waste 
food  and  a  grassy  couch,  the  Press  rise  up  in  arms.  Each  one  of  these  '  bundles 
of  rags '  on  the  grass  has  a  history,  some  an  interesting  one.  I  have  been 
despoiled  of  the  fruitage  of  my  labours ;  have  acted  the  roll  of  errand  lad,  shop 
assistant,  clerk,  traveller,  market-man,  barber,  canvasser,  entertainer,  mummer, 
song-writer,  and  playwright.  I  have  dwelt  within  workhouse,  asylum,  and 
prison  walls ;  have  scrubbed  the  filthy,  tonsured  the  imbecile,  tended  the  aged, 
and  soothed  the  dying.  A  pedlar  of  toys,  many  a  time  I  have  enjoyed  a  night 
on  a  turfy  bed,  the  stars  my  coverlet,  the  hedge  fruit  my  morning  meal,  my 
bath  the  shallow  stream.  Nature  suns  the  nomad  as  well  as  the  traveller. 
Derelicts,  wastrels,  paupers,  pests,  vagrants,  bundles  of  rags !— dub  us  what  men 
will— we  are  human.  There  are  tramps  and  loafing  tramps ;  ill-clad  and  well- 
tailored  loafers.  Make  all  work— West  and  East— loafing  is  infectious. 

KOWTON  HOUSE.  O.  Quiz. 


1904  TRAMPS  AND    WANDERERS  63 

There  is  often  contempt  in  the  mind  of  a  tramp  towards  his  station- 
ary brother,  and  after  all  is  it  undeserved  ?     Is  the  passion  for  freedom 
to  count  for  nothing,  willingness  to  endure  discomfort  rather  than 
sacrifice  contact  with  nature,  the  rough  sympathy  with  all  sorts  and 
conditions  of  men,  and  the  education  that  comes  of  a  wider  human 
fellowship  ?     Are   we   not  all  tramps  at  bottom  ?     Have  not  our 
Gordons  and  our  Stanleys  much  of  the  tramp  about  them  ?     Suppose 
we  are  suppressing  valuable  social  units  whose  energy  from  childhood 
would  have  expanded  if  diverted  to  useful  channels  ?     Has  not  every 
age  needed  its  outlet  into  this  kind  of  existence ;  the  Crusades,  coloni- 
sation, exploration  ?    May  we  not  say  with  reverence  that  the  Highest 
Life  ever  lived  was  that  of  a  tramp  ;  have  not  some  of  the  closest 
approximations  to  it,  notably  that  of  Francis  d' Assisi,  involved  tramping 
also,  because  wide  contact  with  men  of  low  estate  breeds  not  contempt 
but  fellowship  ?     Let  us  recognise  that  minds  which  have  an  affinity 
for  this  kind  of  life  have  their  function  in  our  national  economy. 
Suppose  our  population  was  to  settle  down  wholly,  and  that  the  ancient 
spirit  which  longs  for  '  new  worlds  to  conquer  '  were  to  die  out.    Should 
we  not  be  '  like  dumb  driven  cattle,'  and  perish  of  deadly  dulness  ?     Is 
the  life  of  a  slum-dweller  to  be  preferred  to  that  of  a  tramp  ?     Are  his 
chances  for  life  greater  ?     To  breed  infectives  is  as  bad  as  to  breed 
tramps.     It  is  said  that  wanderers  are  increasing  100  per  cent.     It  is 
the  sign  of  need  for  social  vent.     Each  individual  who  escapes  to  the 
tramp  life  is  not  likely  to  return  to  normal  conditions  unless  his  return 
is  greatly  facilitated,  or  he  is  given  some  outlet  to  freedom.     They 
breed  freely,  and  we  support  their  children.     But  is  this  tendency 
to  wander  wholly  to  be  repressed  ?     Can  we  repress  it  under  modern 
conditions  ?     Germany  has  recognised  the  right  of  every  young  man 
to  go  wandering  as  part  of  his  education.     Practically  our  young  men 
leave  the  countryside  for  '  chances  '  in  a  town.     Families  are  scattered, 
thousands  of  men  have  to  wander.     Does  it  not  greatly  matter  to  the 
nation  under  what  conditions  they  live  ?     If  we  are  to  turn  this  feature 
of  our  times  to  good  account  we  must  no  longer  aim  at  repression. 
We  need  a  definite  circulation,  channels  by  which  travel  can  pass  and 
yet  be  reabsorbed  into  healthy  existence — is  not  this  the  sign  of  higher 
organism  ?     We  need  to  give  play  to  the  educative  influence  of  travel 
and  of  free  contact  under  right  and  healthy  conditions.     We  need  to 
catch  our  tramps  young,  and  hold  out  hope  to  them,  to  pass  them 
on  to  the  life  of  soldier,  sailor,  colonist,  after  a  period  of  compulsory 
training  to  make  the  ineffective  effective.     We  need  to  part  with  our 
repugnance  to  the  wanderer  (let  us  drop  the  name  '  tramp ')  and 
utilise  him,  recognising  that  he  may  be,  if  we  treat  him  rightly,  our 
best  and  not  our  worst,  and  that  deadly  stagnation  is  a  national  evil 
to  be  dreaded  ;  that  the  modern  stagnation  of  a  dependent  popula- 
tion, divorced  from  nature,  without  education  and  without  resource, 
festering  in  slums,  may  be  far  worse  than  the  ancient  evil  of  the 


64  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

tramp.  We  must  drain  our  slums,  we  must  encourage  a  quick  and 
easy  transit  from  one  place  and  one  occupation  to  another.  If  we 
suppress  tramping,  we  encourage  stagnation,  unless  we  create  also 
well-defined  and  natural  channels  for  the  original  and  primitive 
instinct,  which  is  the  heritage  of  our  English  race,  to  develop  health 
fully  and  function  safely.  It  is  astonishing  how  a  system  has  power 
to  enslave  the  thought  even  of  the  educated,  and  outlive  use.  The 
vague  sense  of  justice  of  thousands  may  be  on  the  side  of  change, 
yet  the  power  of  a  cast-iron  system  holds  back  reform.  This  spells 
revolution  in  the  end. 

How  shall  we  steer  our  country  into  quiet  waters  ?  In  what 
direction  lies  true  reform  ?  I  believe  we  have  before  us  the  example 
of  other  countries  which  we  may  usefully  follow.  Germany  has 
covered  herself  with  a  network  of  relief  stations  and  workmen's  home  s 
to  facilitate  migration  of  labour,  supplemented  by  labour  colonies  for 
the  destitute.  Belgium  and  Holland  have  their  national  treatment 
of  the  vagrant  problem. 

I  will  put  the  solution  in  the  form  of  a  series  of  propositions  :— 

(1)  In  every  town  there  should  exist  sufficient  accommodation 
on  any  night  for  the  restful  sleep  of  every  person  for  the  time  resident 
there.    Every  person  who  sleeps  in  the  open  or  under  insanitary  con- 
ditions is  during  the  next  day  a  centre  of  contagion,  a  menace  to  public 
health. 

(2)  It  is  impossible  to  expect  private  enterprise  to  provide  suffi- 
cient and  sanitary  accommodation.     Ebbs  and  flows  in  the  tide  need 
to  be  calculated  for,  therefore  in  addition  to  all  private  shelters  or 
lodging-houses  being  efficiently  supervised,  there  should  be  municipal 
accommodation  up  to  the  extremest  point  of  need.     The  ancient  duty 
of  entertaining  a  stranger  rests  now  on  the  municipality. 

(3)  It  is  not  desirable  that  this  accommodation  should  be  chari- 
table.   It  should  be  graded,  but  earned  by  work,  except  in  cases  of 
incapacity  from  old  age,  incurable  disability,    or  sickness.      These 
should  be  received  into  the  workhouse  for  special  treatment  without 
delay. 

(4)  It  is  desirable  to  have  the  shelters   or  municipal  lodgings  as 
such,  independent  of  the  provision  of  work  for  the  destitute.     This 
might  remain  a  part  of  the  workhouse  system.     A  certain  task  rightly 
performed  might  earn  sufficient  to  pay  for  bed  and  board.     This 
combination  of  relief  stations  with  the  right  to  enter  workmen's  homes 
is  the  German  system.    If  there  was  a  national  arrangement  by  which 
the  bare  necessaries  of  life  could  be  obtained  by  honest  toil  all  excuse 
for  beggary  would  vanish. 

(5)  There  should  be  organised  charity  in  connection  with  every 
relief  station.     The  object  of  this  should  be  to  watch  the  stream  of 
humanity,  and  pick  out  cases  of  suffering  for  individual  treatment. 

Watching  the  stream  as  it  flows  through  our  national  sieves,  the 


1904  TRAMPS  AND   WANDERERS  65 

relief  stations,  we  shall  find  four  main  classes  requiring  separate 
treatment. 

There  is,  first,  the  degraded  vagrant  proper,  identified  by  his 
abhorrence  of  work,  by  his  turning  up  at  relief  station  after  relief 
station,  or  shirking  them  and  preying  on  the  public.  We  will  give 
him  a  waybill  for  identification,  as  sketched  in  Julie  Sutter's  plan, 
and  land  him  in  a  colony,  detaining  him  for  an  education,  more  or 
less  penal,  in  honest  toil ;  we  will  prevent  him  from  breeding ;  and 
refuse  to  allow  the  children  he  has  to  be  dragged  about  the  country. 
We  advocate  detention  for  the  loafer  vagrant,  and,  if  possible,  re- 
demption to  honest  toil. 

There  is,  secondly,  the  incapable.  The  man  or  woman  who  cannot 
work  deserves  pity  ;  the  blind,  the  epileptic,  and  feeble-minded  need 
care,  with  a  curtailment  of  liberty,  if  morally  incapable,  to  prevent 
the  passing  on  of  hereditary  defects  to  a  degenerating  offspring ; 
but  they  need  the  tenderest  help  we  can  give,  and  all  possible  compen- 
sation for  a  hard  lot.  We  advocate  true  charity  to  the  disabled. 

There  is,  thirdly,  the  ineffective,  the  man  or  woman,  ill-trained  or 
ill-placed.  We  need  wisely  to  guide  each  life  to  the  right  spot,  to  fit 
each  one  in  by  national  bureaux  of  industry,  to  provide  effective 
education  for  the  new  generation,  to  give  increased  mobility  to  meet 
fluctuations  of  work,  and  to  look  after  those  who  have  no  personal 
initiative.  We  advocate  the  utilisation  of  the  ineffective. 

There  is,  fourth,  the  genuine  skilled  out-of-work  man,  '  worth  his 
salt.'  We  need  for  him  some  such  regulation  of  municipal  enterprise 
as  will  provide  a  true  labour  market,  to  equalise  employment  in  times 
of  scarcity,  and  tide  over  the  periods  when,  as  John  Hobson  points 
out,  there  is  a  '  temporary  simultaneous  glut  of  land,  labour,  and 
capital.'  We  advocate  the  equalisation  of  the  labour  market  for  the 
true  out-of-works.  Part  of  this  provision  lies  at  the  door  of  the  muni- 
cipality. May  we  hope  for  wise  '  Councillors '  in  our  national  time  of 
need  ?  Part  lies  at  the  door  of  the  Poor-law  authority.  May  we  hope 
there  will  be  '  Guardians '  conservative,  not  of  institutions,  but  of 
those  national  instincts  of  justice  which  are  ever  on  the  side  of  the 
redress  of  national  wrongs  ? 

Such  is  our  national  need.  But  one  word  as  regards  my  own 
sex.  Conditions  which  press  heavily  on  men  press  cruelly  on  women. 
It  was  the  fact,  constantly  borne  in  upon  me  by  observation,  that 
women  were  continually  dropping  out  of  the  protection  of  homes,  and 
being  forced  by  destitution  into  sin,  that  led  me  to  investigate  the 
condition  of  the  tramp.  A  recent  census  was  taken  of  the  sleeping- 
out  problem  in  London.  Many  men  were  found,  and  only  few  women. 
Why  ?  Is  not  the  number  of  women  in  England  larger  than  that  of 
men  ?  I  believe  the  answer  is  a  tale  of  horror.  Destitute  women 
are  driven  to  prostitution.  If  our  national  provision  for  destitution 
is  harsh  and  insufficient,  it  amounts  to  the  perpetual  forcing  of  our 

VOL.  LVI— No.  329  E 


66  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

destitute  sisters  into  a  life  of  vice,  and  so  indirectly  to  the  sapping 
of  the  very  foundations  of  society.  The  number  of  lodging-houses 
which  take  women  is  decreasing.  Does  it  not  lie  upon  us  as  a  nation 
to  see  that  no  woman  shall  be  forced  by  destitution  into  sin  ?  Every 
week,  sometimes  every  day,  there  drift  into  shelters  and  homes  desti- 
tute sisters ;  girls,  many  of  them  very  young ;  willing  and  eager  to 
earn  their  living ;  hungry,  almost  without  clothing ;  tempted, 
sometimes  fallen ;  dropped  out  of  homes,  bewildered,  friendless,  but 
willing  to  take  a  helping  hand.  Who  but  such  as  these  need  '  guar- 
dians '  ?  Shall  we  consider  that  the  mere  administration  of  a  rigid 
law  is  England's  duty  ?  No  ;  it  has  rested  too  long  on  one  sex  only ; 
perhaps  to  that  it  owes  partly  its  rigidity  and  harshness.  It  needs 
to  be  transmuted  by  woman's  love  and  woman's  devotion  to  the 
trifling  details  of  individual  need,  unto  the  '  charity  that  is  twice 
blessed,  that  blesses  him  that  gives  and  him  that  takes.' 

MARY  HTGGS. 


1904 


EDUCATIONAL    CONCILIATION 

AN  APPEAL    TO    THE    CLERGY 

I  HAVE  more  than  once  predicted  in  the  pages  of  this  Review  that  the 
best  of  the  Anglican  clergy  would  in  the  end  throw  over  the  Educa- 
tion Act.  I  am  still  of  opinion  that  they  will  do  this  in  the  end,  but 
I  am  compelled  to  admit  that  the  end  is  long  in  coming.  A  year  and 
a  half  ago  they  were  irritated  by  the  Kenyon-Slaney  Clause  and  uneasy 
at  the  possible  effect  on  religious  teaching  of  the  introduction  of  repre- 
sentative managers.  Six  months  later  they  were  alarmed  at  the 
apparent  strength  of  the  Opposition  and  the  possible  advent  of  a  Govern- 
ment pledged  to  amend  the  Act  in  an  undenominational  sense.  To-day 
these  causes  of  dissatisfaction  seem  to  have  lost  much  of  their  force. 
The  Education  Act  has  come  into  operation,  and  in  the  majority  of 
cases  no  great  change  has  followed.  The  Kenyon-Slaney  Clause  has 
hardly  ever  been  invoked.  The  county  councils  have  for  the  most  part 
been  careful  to  consult  the  wishes  of  the  foundation  managers.  The 
Act  has  proved  more  tolerable  than  the  clergy  expected,  and  the  recent 
recovery  in  the  position  of  the  Government  has  made  them  hopeful 
that  it  will  at  least  not  be  altered  for  the  worse.  Added  to  this,  the 
attitude  of  the  Nonconformist  majority  and  the  general  acceptance 
of  Dr.  Clifford's  leadership  have  made  the  dividing  line  between  them 
and  Churchmen  very  much  sharper.  Even  those  who  recognise  the 
unsatisfactory  character  of  the  present  settlement,  and  the  probability 
that  in  the  long  run  it  will  lower  the  standard  of  religious  teaching 
in  Church  schools,  seem  disposed  to  put  aside  the  idea  of  an  educa- 
tional compromise  as  not  at  present  within  reach. 

It  is  an  unfortunate  moment,  no  doubt,  in  which  to  preach  con- 
ciliation. And  yet  this  is  the  object  of  the  present  article.  Some 
little  time  since  a  small  conference  of  Churchmen  and  Nonconformists 
met  to  consider  whether  they  could  discover  some  common  ground, 
the  acceptance  of  which  would  involve  no  sacrifice  of  principle  on 
either  side.  A  committee  was  appointed  to  draw  up  a  scheme,  and 
the  outcome  of  their  labour  is  a  draft  Bill,  the  contents  of  which  I  am 
allowed  to  use,  though  it  has  not  yet  been  submitted  to  the  conference. 
This  Bill  seems  to  me  to  contain  all  the  essential  provisions  of  a  reason- 
able concordat.  It  gives  the  Nonconformists  what  they  ask,  and  all 

67  F2  " 


68  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTUBY  July 

that  it  claims  in  return  is  a  frank  recognition  of  the  principle  of  religious 
equality.  I  do  not  say  that  all  its  provisions  are  equally  essential, 
but  there  is  not  one  of  them  that  really  comes  into  conflict  with  the 
civil  or  religious  conscience. 

The  object  of  the  Bill,  as  explained  by  the  introductory  memo- 
randum, is  twofold.  On  the  one  hand  it  introduces  public  manage- 
ment into  all  schools  ;  on  the  other  it  sets  up  absolute  religious  equality 
between  them,  and  aims  at  making  adequate  provision  for  the  universal 
teaching  of  religion.  Supposing  the  Bill  to  become  law,  all  schools 
deriving  support  from  the  rates  would  become  provided  schools, 
those  now  known  as  non-provided  schools  being  handed  over  to  the 
local  Education  Authority  on  equitable  terms.  The  managers  of 
these,  as  of  other  schools,  would  be  appointed  by  this  authority,  and 
all  the  teachers  would  be  chosen  without  reference  to  their  religious 
belief.  Religious  equality  is  secured  by  the  repeal  of  the  Cowper- 
Temple  Clause  and  an  enactment  that  all  religious  or  ethical  teaching 
shall  be  provided  and  paid  for  by  religious  or  other  bodies,  singly  or 
in  combination — the  parents  of  each  child  being  left  to  say  what  kind 
of  religious  teaching  they  wished  it  to  receive.  It  is  probable  that 
some  schools  will  decline  to  come  under  public  management.  These, 
of  course,  would  not  be  affected  by  this  Bill.  But  in  the  event  of 
their  being  allowed  to  receive  public  support  on  special  terms,  while 
remaining  outside  the  Act,  whatever  is  given  to  one  denomination 
must  be  given  to  all.  The  facilities  for  religious  teaching  consist  in 
fixing  a  time  in  which  it  is  to  be  given,  and  in  allowing  individual 
teachers  on  the  staff  of  the  school  to  give  the  religious  lesson  provided 
that  they  are  paid  by  the  religious  or  ethical  body  which  employs 
them. 

This  memorandum  sets  out  the  main  contents  of  the  Bill,  but 
to  make  sure  that  they  will  be  understood  I  will  give  the  chief  pro- 
posals in  the  actual  words. 

Notwithstanding  (says  Clause  I.)  anything  to  the  contrary  contained  in  the 
Education  Acts  1870  to  1903,  or  any  of  them,  all  public  schools  maintained  but 
not  provided  by  the  local  Education  Authority  .  .  .  shall  be  deemed  to  have 
been  so  provided. 

In  this  way  all  rate-aided  schools  will  pass,  so  far  as  management 
is  concerned,  out  of  the  hands  of  their  present  owners  into  those  of 
the  local  education  authority.  This  authority,  however,  may  pay 
the  fair  annual  value  of  the  schoolhouse  by  way  of  rent,  and  it  may 
also  purchase  it  if  the  trustees  consent,  at  a  price  to  be  settled,  if 
need  be,  by  arbitration.  By  Clause  II.  the  purchase-money  is  to  be 
applied 

according  to  a  scheme  to  be  settled  by  the  Charity  Commissioners  in  confor- 
mity with  such  of  the  trusts  upon  which  the  school-house  was  formerly  held  as 
were  not  trusts  for  secular  education. 


1904  EDUCATIONAL   CONCILIATION  69 

Clause  III.  repeals  the  Cowper-Temple  Clause  and  makes  it 

the  duty  of  the  local  Education  Authority  (a)  to  afford  facilities  for  the  duly 
accredited  teacher  of  any  religious  body,  or  combination  of  religious  bodies,  to 
give  separate  religious  instruction  in  every  public  elementary  school  within  its 
district  to  such  of  the  scholars  as  shall  be  required  by  their  parents  to  receive 
such  instruction,  and  (b)  to  afford  similar  facilities  to  such  body  or  bodies  for 
the  holding  of  separate  Sunday  schools  in  the  school  so  far  as  is  practicable, 
having  regard  to  the  accommodation  of  the  school-house.  Provided  that  no 
part  of  the  cost  of  such  instruction  shall  be  borne  by  the  local  Education 
Authority.  The  time  devoted  to  religious  instruction  shall  be  at  least  three- 
quarters  of  an  hour  at  the  beginning  or  end  of  each  school-day.  Secular 
instruction  shall  be  provided  contemporaneously  with  such  religious  instruction, 
and  any  child  whose  parents  shall  not  desire  him  to  receive  any  religious  in- 
struction shall  be  required  to  attend  such  secular  instruction  instead. 

I  submit  that  this  Bill  suggests  a  settlement  of  the  education 
difficulty  which  ought  to  satisfy  all  parties  except,  it  may  be,  fanatical 
secularists.  What  are  the  objections  raised  by  Nonconformists  to 
the  Act  of  1902  ?  That  it  gives  local  money  without  adequate  local 
control;  that,  in  appearance  at  all  events,  it  appropriates  local 
money  to  the  support  of  schools  belonging  to  particular  denomina- 
tions ;  that,  in  order  to  secure  the  teaching  proper  to  such  denomina- 
tions, it  permits  them  to  impose  a  religious  test  upon  the  head  teacher 
in  each  school.  Every  one  of  these  objections  is  met  by  this  Bill. 
The  managers  of  every  school  will  be  appointed  by  the  local  Education 
Authority.  Not  a  fraction  of  the  rates  can  be  spent,  even  in  appear- 
ance, on  the  provision  of  religious  instruction  of  any  kind  in  any 
school.  And  as  the  teachers  will  all  be  appointed,  mediately  or 
immediately,  by  the  local  Education  Authority,  no  question  can  be 
asked  as  to  their  religious  belief.  What  is  there  in  this  settlement 
to  which  a  Nonconformist  can  consistently  take  exception  ?  Church 
schools  disappear,  and  in  their  stead  we  have  in  every  parish  in  the 
kingdom  a  school  wholly  under  public  management  and  forbidden 
to  show  any  favour  or  give  any  advantage  to  any  one  religion  over 
another.  Under  the  present  law  these  principles  are  necessarily 
disregarded  in  single-school  districts.  A  majority  of  the  managers 
belong  to  a  particular  denomination ;  no  religion  other  than  that 
of  this  denomination  can  be  taught  in  the  school ;  and  yet  the  school 
is  maintained  out  of  public  funds.  The  truth  is  that  the  present 
provisions  for  elementary  education  are  only  suited  to  towns,  and  to 
a  condition  of  things  which,  even  in  towns,  has  seldom  really  existed. 
If  we  imagine  the  educational  need  supplied  in  the  main  by  schools 
built  by  the  denominations,  so  that  only  the  fringe  of  children  whose 
wants  are  not  met  in  this  way  attend  schools  of  the  present  provided 
type,  the  co-existence  of  two  distinct  classes  of  schools  might  be 
accepted  as  a  working  settlement.  But  it  is  altogether  inapplicable 
to  country  districts  where,  more  often  than  not,  there  is  only  one 
school  for  the  children,  whatever  may  be  their  denomination,  and 


70  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUBY  July 

Nonconformist  parents  have  in  consequence  to  choose  between  reli- 
gious instruction  which  is  not  theirs  and  no  religious  instruction  at  all. 
And  even  in  towns  it  is  only  applicable  in  theory.  The  denomina- 
tional system  assumes  that  Church  children  will  go  to  Church  schools, 
Roman  Catholic  children  to  Roman  Catholic  schools,  Nonconformist 
children  to  Nonconformist  schools.  In  this  way  all  the  children  in  the 
place  would  be  taught  the  religion  of  their  parents,  and  the  provided 
school  would  take  only  those  whose  parents  had  no  preference  for 
any  definite  religion.  Whether  such  a  system  as  this  ever  presented 
itself  to  the  imagination  of  any  of  the  authors  of  the  Act  of  1870  it  is 
impossible  to  say,  but  if  it  did  it  never  took  shape  anywhere  else. 
The  denominational  need  was  never  supplied  except  in  part,  and  the 
Board  schools  went  on  gathering  in  an  increasing  number  of  children 
belonging  to  various  religions.  The  dual  system  broke  down  from  the 
start. 

The  authors  of  the  Act  of  1902  had  the  choice  of  abolishing  or 
tinkering  this  system.  Unfortunately  they  chose  to  tinker  it.  Pro- 
vided schools  were  given  a  more  important  place  in  the  system,  but 
in  return  for  this  the  voluntary  schools  were  bidden  to  look  to  the 
rates  for  maintenance  except  as  regards  structural  repairs  or  additions. 
How  this  compromise  has  worked  there  is  no  need  to  say.  The  moral 
may  be  studied  in  the  records  of  the  Welsh  county  councils  and  in 
the  incidents  of  Passive  Resistance. 

A  proposal  of  compromise  must  come  from  someone,  and  hitherto 
neither  side  has  liked  to  take  the  first  step.  Nonconformists  declare 
that  they  have  no  evidence  that  Churchmen  are  willing  to  entertain 
such  an  offer.  Churchmen  declare  that  it  is  useless  to  make  sugges- 
tions until  there  is  some  reason  to  suppose  that  they  will  receive  fair 
consideration.  The  framers  of  the  Bill  here  described  have  come 
forward  under  the  pressure  of  a  strong  conviction  that  the  prospect 
of  the  settlement  they  desire  is  likely  to  grow  fainter  as  time  goes  on. 
They  think  that  their  proposals  are  reasonable  and  just,  that  they 
remove  the  grievances  of  which  Nonconformists  complain,  and  give 
Churchmen  an  opportunity  of  looking  after  children  whom  the  growth, 
actual  and  prospective,  of  provided  schools  is  rapidly  taking  out  of 
their  hands.  If  it  can  be  shown  that  they  are  mistaken  in  any  parti- 
cular, they  are  willing  to  recast  that  part  of  their  scheme.  They  put 
forward  their  proposals  in  the  hope  that  Churchmen  may  be  induced 
to  make  them  their  own,  and  that  Nonconformists  may  be  willing 
to  join  in  pressing  them  upon  the  Government.  They  are  fully  aware 
that  no  settlement  of  this  magnitude  can  possibly  be  brought  to  a 
conclusion  by  any  private  action.  All  they  ask  is  that  a  plan,  the 
general  acceptance  of  which  would  end  a  most  mischievous  contro- 
versy, shall  not  be  put  aside  without  full  consideration. 

If  we  were  to  judge  by  their  published  statements,  we  might  well 
despair  of  either  side  conceding  anything.  Churchmen  point  to  the 


1904  EDUCATIONAL   CONCILIATION  71 

successful  working  of  the  Act  in  this  or  that  county  ;  Nonconformists 
reckon  up  the  occasions  on  which  this  or  that  champion  has  seen 
his  goods  taken  in  execution  rather  than  pay  the  Education  Rate. 
In  such  a  case  as  this  common  sense  teaches  that  the  man  who  has 
most  to  lose  by  holding  out  is  the  man  to  come  lorward  with  pro- 
posals of  compromise.  Let  us  see  how  this  rule  works  out  when 
applied  to  the  Education  Act.  The  view  that  the  clergy  seem  to 
take  is  that  their  strength  is  to  sit  still.  The  excitement  and  opposi- 
tion aroused  by  the  Act  will  die  away  by  degrees.  Even  Passive 
Resisters  will  in  time  come  to  a  wiser  mind,  and  Mr.  Lloyd-George 
and  the  Bishop  of  St.  Asaph  will  feed  lamblike  in  the  same  statutory 
pasture.  Meanwhile  the  clergy  retain  their  schools — in  most  cases 
— and  when  the  crisis  is  over  all  will  go  on  as  before.  It  is  always 
well  to  take  note  of  what  your  adversary  thinks  of  your  position, 
and  it  is  evident  that  the  Nonconformists  are  not  of  opinion  that  the 
clergy  have  anything  to  gain  by  delay.  If  they  were  we  should  long 
ago  have  seen  them  coming  forward  with  proposals  of  their  own. 
That  they  have  not  done  so  shows  that  they  at  least  have  no  fear 
that  time  has  anything  good  in  store  for  the  Church,  and  for  that  very 
reason  no  desire  to  end  the  controversy  quickly. 

Three  alternative  possibilities  may  be  suggested  in  regard  to  the 
Education  Act.  The  first  is  that  a  Liberal  Cabinet  comes  into  office 
after  the  dissolution.  Even  Mr.  Chamberlain  thinks  this  a  probable 
contingency,  though  he  couples  with  it  the  prediction  that  the  Cabinet 
thus  formed  will  not  hold  office  very  long.  But  even  if  this  prediction  is 
fulfilled  to  the  letter,  it  contains  very  little  comfort  for  the  clergy.  The 
Liberals  may  have  but  a  short  term  of  office,  but,  at  all  events,  it  will  be 
long  enough  for  the  amendment  of  the  Education  Act.  The  most 
sanguine  Churchman  can  hardly  expect  that,  if  after  this  Mr. 
Chamberlain  becomes  Prime  Minister,  he  will  care  to  restore  the  present 
strife.  If  the  next  Government  amends  the  Act,  the  next  Government 
but  one  may  be  trusted  not  to  amend  it  back  again.  The  second  possi- 
bility is  that  the  dissolution  makes  no  change  in  the  position  of  parties, 
and  that,  for  some  time  longer  at  all  events,  the  Act  remains  unaltered. 
Is  this  a  prospect  to  be  regarded  with  satisfaction  by  Churchmen  ? 
It  means,  for  one  thing,  the  continuance  of  the  present  conflict  between 
the  Welsh  County  Councils  and  the  Government.  If  this  conflict 
were  to  be  carried  on  in  the  manner  in  which  the  Carmarthenshire 
County  Council  began  it,  the  Government  might  easily  have  the  best 
of  it.  The  very  clever  Bill  which  is  now  before  Parliament  would 
make  short  work  of  opposition  conducted  on  these  lines.  But  the 
Carmarthenshire  County  Council  has  already  found  out  its  mistake. 
It  has  accepted  the  less  violent  but  more  effective  policy  favoured  by 
Mr.  Lloyd-George,  and  the  Principality  is  now  busy  in  seeing  how  far 
it  can  go  towards  starving  Voluntary  schools  without  losing  the  grants- 
in-aid  which  the  Government  is  compelled  to  make  to  the  County 


72  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

Councils  so  long  as  they  do  not  openly  break  the  law.  It  may  be  objected 
that  Wales  is  not  England,  and  that  its  example  is  not  likely  to  be 
followed  in  England.  That  is  true,  no  doubt,  of  many  local  councils, 
but  it  is  by  no  means  true  of  all,  and,  even  if  it  were,  the  resources 
of  Nonconformity  would  not  be  exhausted.  Have  we  any  reason,  for 
instance,  to  think  that  the  case  of  the  Isle  of  Wight  will  stand  alone  ? 
There  was  no  disobedience  to  the  law  here.  The  County  Council 
simply  called  upon  the  managers  of  certain  Voluntary  schools  to 
make  necessary  additions  to  their  buildings.  The  managers  tried  in 
vain  to  raise  money  for  this  purpose,  and  under  the  Act  of  1902  their 
schools  would  thereupon  have  become  provided  schools.  It  would 
have  been  very  much  better  if  they  had  allowed  the  law  to  take  its 
course,  since  the  incident  would  then  have  shown  how  injuriously  the 
Act  is  likely  to  affect  Church  schools.  They  preferred,  however,  to 
capitulate  on  terms  which  are  almost  indistinguishable  from  sur- 
render. In  these  professedly  Church  schools  undenominationalism  is 
taught  every  day  by  the  regular  paid  teachers,  while  on  one  day  in  the 
week  the  parson  comes  in  as  a  volunteer  and  teaches  those  children 
whose  parents  desire  his  services.  Education  does  not  promise  to 
become  less  costly,  nor  will  the  official  demands  in  the  matter  of  cubic 
space  and  sanitary  requirements  grow  less  stringent.  Consequently, 
cases  like  that  in  the  Isle  of  Wight  may  be  expected  to  multiply,  and 
each  one  of  them  will  be  another  step  towards  the  establishment  and 
endowment  of  undenominationalism  in  elementary  schools. 

The  third  possibility  is  the  most  formidable,  though  not  the  most 
probable,  of  the  three.  It  is  that  the  Nonconformists  will  find  out 
the  mistake  they  have  made  in  resisting  the  Act,  and  apply  themselves 
to  making  full  use  of  its  provisions.  The  Church  of  England  owes  a 
great  debt  to  the  Nonconformists  for  the  line  they  have  taken  in 
reference  to  the  school  rate.  If  they  had  welcomed  the  addition  of  a 
representative  element  to  the  management  of  every  Voluntary  school, 
and  had  made  the  most  of  the  opportunity  thus  afforded  them,  un- 
denominational religion  would  in  a  very  short  time  have  been  established 
and  endowed  in  more  than  half  the  Church  schools  in  the  kingdom. 
A  clergyman  must  be  a  man  of  strong  religious  convictions  or  strong 
fighting  instincts  if  he  prefers  war  to  peace.  Yet  in  thousands  of 
parishes  this  would  have  been  the  choice  he  would  have  had  to  make. 
The  two  representative  managers  would  have  pleaded  that  religious 
unity  would  be  promoted  by  making  the  basis  of  the  religious  teaching 
the  same  for  all  the  children  in  the  school.  In  that  case,  of  course, 
the  teaching  must  be  undenominational,  but  the  clergyman  would  be 
free  to  give  further  instruction  to  those  children  whose  parents  wished 
them  to  receive  it  at  any  time  which  did  not  interfere  with  the  routine 
work  of  the  school.  By  this  plan  controversy  would  be  avoided,  and 
the  whole  teaching  staff  would  be  able  to  take  part  in  the  religious 
lessons.  This  is  what  would  have  happened  if  Nonconformists  had 


1904  EDUCATIONAL   CONCILIATION  73 

helped  to  work  the  Act  instead  of  resisting  it.  This  is  what  would 
happen  if  at  any  future  time  they  determined  to  change  their  policy. 
Even  if  they  remain  as  hostile  to  the  Act  as  they  are  now,  the  whole 
drift  of  lay  opinion  is  towards  undenominationalism.  The  only  people 
who  really  dislike  it  are  High  Churchmen  and  Roman  Catholics — 
neither  of  them  numerically  formidable — and  wherever  an  arrange- 
ment is  proposed  between  a  Church  school  and  a  County  Council, 
the  acceptance  of  rate-paid  undenominational  teaching  for  the  whole 
school,  while  leaving  the  clergy  free  to  give  voluntary  instruction  out 
of  school  hours  to  those  children  whose  parents  expressly  ask  for  it, 
is  pretty  sure  to  form  part  of  it.  With  such  a  system  as  this,  what 
estimate  is  a  practical  nation  likely  to  form  of  the  relative  value  of 
denominational  and  undenominational  teaching  ?  They  see  the  one 
paid  for  by  the  State  and  given,  as  part  of  the  school  curriculum  and 
by  the  regular  staff,  to  all  children  not  expressly  withdrawn  from  it  under 
the  Conscience  Clause.  They  see  the  other  given,  outside  the  school 
curriculum  and  by  school  teachers  receiving  no  pay  from  the  State,  to 
those  children  whose  parents  ask  for  something  more  in  the  way  of 
religion  than  is  enough  for  the  majority  of  children.  What  conclusion 
can  they  possibly  draw  except  that  the  State  regards  undenominational 
teaching  as  something  worth  paying  for,  and  denominational  teaching 
as  a  harmless  fancy  to  be  tolerated  as  long  as  there  are  people  foolish 
enough  to  cherish  it  ? 

The  position,  therefore,  which  the  clergy  have  to  face  is  this  : 
Where  the  Church  is  strong,  where  the  buildings  are  new  and  adequate, 
where  no  addition  is  needed  to  the  teaching  staff,  where  the  clergy- 
man is  a  power  in  the  parish  and  the  parents  for  the  most  part  wish 
their  children  to  be  taught  religion  under  his  direction,  all  will  go  well — 
as  regards  that  particular  school.  But  at  what  cost  will  this  success 
be  purchased  ?  All  around  him  the  fortunate  incumbent  will  hear  of 
schools  being  made  over  to  the  local  Education  Authority,  and  so 
ceasing,  in  fact  if  not  in  name,  to  be  Church  schools  ;  nor  will  he  have 
any  assurance  that  his  own  school  will  in  the  end  escape  the  same 
fate.  Its  religious  character  will  depend  upon  the  policy  of  a  County 
Council  re-elected  every  three  years,  and  of  a  Board  of  Education 
which  reflects  the  Government  of  the  day ;  upon  the  temper  of  the 
Nonconformists  in  his  parish,  which  may  take  its  colour  from  some 
distant  leader ;  upon  legislative  changes  made  by  a  House  of  Commons 
which  is  the  creation  of  an  undenominational  electorate.  On  which 
of  these  shifting  sandbanks  does  he  found  his  hope  of  keeping  alive  a 
school  in  which  he  will  teach  the  full  Christian  faith  as  he  holds  it  ? 

For  these  reasons — as  well  as  for  the  still  stronger  one  that  on  the 
present  system  they  are  denied  access  to  schools  containing  a  con- 
stantly increasing  number  of  children  who  have  just  as  much  claim 
on  them  as  the  children  of  their  own  schools — this  proposal  is  sub- 
mitted to  the  clergy.  If  they  will  make  it  their  own,  in  any  appre- 


74  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

ciable  number,  it  has,  I  believe,  a  good  chance  of  gaining  public 
acceptance.  If  they  will  have  nothing  to  say  to  it,  it  will,  at  all  events 
for  the  present,  make  no  way.  It  will  find,  indeed,  more  acceptance 
among  Nonconformists  than  is  commonly  supposed,  since  it  has 
what,  in  the  eyes  of  some  of  them,  is  the  supreme  merit  of  securing 
equality  of  treatment  for  all  forms  of  religion.  But,  as  it  runs  counter 
to  the  present  tendency  of  public  opinion,  it  is  not  likely  that  they 
will  urge  its  adoption  except  as  a  means  of  putting  an  end  to  educa- 
tional strife.  Whether  it  will  have  this  result  depends,  as  I  believe, 
on  the  reception  the  clergy  give  it.  Theirs  is  the  decision,  and  theirs 
will  be  the  responsibility. 

D.  C.  LATHBURY. 


1904 


A     PRACTICAL     VIEW    OF    THE 
ATHANASIAN    CREED 


THE  recent  debates  in  the  Convocations  of  Canterbury  and  York  have 
again  raised  the  long- vexed  question  of  the  use  of  '  The  Confession  of 
our  Christian  Faith,  called  the  Creed  of  St.  Athanasius,'  in  the  public 
services  of  the  Church.  It  must,  I  think,  be  admitted  that  in  respect 
of  this  creed  the  clergy  are  rather  hardly  treated.  Many  of  them, 
perhaps  most,  disapprove  its  public  use ;  their  congregations  dis- 
approve it  still  more.  Diocesan  Conferences  have  declared  against 
it,  or  at  the  best  have  half-heartedly  defended  it.  And  now  at  last 
the  Bishops  have  begun  to  make  speeches  or  to  publish  letters  and 
addresses  reflecting  upon  the  creed  or  rearranging  it,  or  attenuating 
some  of  its  phrases,  or  explaining  them  away.  But,  all  the  while, 
the  clergy  are  obliged  by  a  definite  rubric  to  recite  the  creed  in  public 
services  and  to  recite  it  on  such  festivals  as  Christmas  Day,  Easter 
Day,  and  Whit-Sunday,  when  its  damnatory  clauses  are  strangely 
out  of  tune  with  the  wishes  and  thoughts  congenial  to  Christian  hearts. 
There  is,  in  fact,  a  strong  case  for  some  relief ;  but  the  relief  is  not 
given. 

No  doubt  it  is  easy  to  argue  that  no  man  is  compelled  to  take 
Holy  Orders,  and  that,  if  a  man  voluntarily  takes  them,  he  has  no 
claim  to  get  rid  of  the  obligations  which  they  impose.1  But  this 
argument  is  hardly  conclusive.  For  it  is  desirable  that  men,  and 
especially  earnest  and  thoughtful  men,  should  be  ordained,  and  that 
no  unnecessary  obstacle  should  be  put  in  the  way  of  their  ordination. 
That  the  Athanasian  Creed  is  such  an  obstacle  will  hardly  be  disputed 
by  anyone  who  knows  the  state  of  theological  feeling  in  the  Universi- 
ties ;  but  if  it  is,  and  so  far  as  it  is,  an  obstacle,  it  is  an  evil.  Nor 
are  the  clergy  the  only  persons  to  be  considered.  For  it  is  desirable, 
too,  that  the  laity  should  go  to  church.  If  then  there  are  a  good 
many  devout  laymen  who  dislike  and  resent  the  public  use  of  the 
creed  and  avoid  hearing  it  by  staying  away  from  church,  so  far  again 
it  is  on  this  account  an  evil. 

It  is  possible,  indeed,  that  the  evil  may  be  exaggerated.     The 

1  See  Dr.  Wickham  Legg's  letter  in  the  Guardian,  April  6,  1904. 

75 


76  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

consciences  of  some  candidates  for  Holy  Orders  are  almost  morbidly 
sensitive  in  the  present  day.  For  the  doctrinal  statements  of  the 
creed  are  probably  not  repugnant  to  anybody  who  believes  the  orthodox 
Christian  faith,  and,  as  believing  it,  is  qualified  and  inclined  to  take 
Holy  Orders.  The  so-called  damnatory  clauses,  too,  have  been 
officially  interpreted  as  '  to  be  understood  no  otherwise  than  the 
like  warnings  in  Holy  Scripture.'  If  so,  all  that  can  be  said  of  them 
is  that  they  are  infelicitously  expressed ;  for  there  can  be  no  doubt 
that  they  appear  at  first  sight,  and  are  generally  taken,  to  go  beyond 
the  '  most  certain  warrants  of  Holy  Scripture,'  by  which,  according 
to  the  8th  Article,  the  Athanasian  Creed  may  be  proved. 

But  the  fact  is  that  it  is  a  mistake  to  look  upon  the  same  words 
as  bearing  always  and  everywhere  the  same  significance.  It  often 
happens  that  technical  phrases  come  to  be  used,  not  in  a  literal,  but 
in  a  secondary  meaning.  There  have  been  times  when  it  seemed 
natural  and  necessary  to  visit  theological  errors  with  extreme  male- 
dictions. The  most  awful  condemnations  of  heretics  excited  no 
surprise  or  disgust.  It  is  as  certain  as  any  fact  of  history  can  be 
that  the  same  language  which  is  felt  to  be  terrible  and  deplorable  by 
consciences  trained  in  nineteen  centuries  of  Christianity  was  not  so 
felt,  or  was  not  so  felt  in  anything  like  the  same  degree,  by  the 
Christians  who  first  made  use  of  it  or  first  listened  to  it.  The  dam- 
natory clauses,  therefore,  of  the  Athanasian  Creed  are  a  heavier 
burden  upon  consciences  to-day  than  they  were  many  centuries  ago, 
and  they  will  become  a  still  heavier  burden  as  the  years  and  the 
centuries  pass.  For  humanity  grows  more  humane ;  that  is  one  of 
the  few  clear  gains  attaching  to  progress ;  men  are  kinder  than 
they  were,  and  their  theology,  too,  becomes  less  rigid,  less  bitter 
than  it  was. 

The  great  objection,  then,  to  the  public  use  of  the  Athanasian 
Creed  is  that  its  language  in  its  natural  interpretation  is  not  what 
Christians  and  Churchmen  hold  to  be  true.  Archbishop  Tait,  in  his 
speech  in  Convocation,  put  the  general  feeling  well : — 

We  are  to  take  the  clauses  in  their  plain  and  literal  sense.  But  we  do  not. 
There  is  not  a  soul  in  the  room  who  does.  Nobody  in  the  Church  of  England 
takes  them  in  their  plain  literal  sense. 

A  reasonable  person  will  not  indeed  deny  that  in  any  historical 
Church,  having  a  continuous  unbroken  life  of  many  centuries,  formu- 
laries may,  and  often  must,  be  interpreted  with  considerable  latitude. 
The  language  of  the  sixteenth  or  seventeenth  century,  and  a  fortiori  of 
the  ninth  or  the  fifth  century,  cannot  be  altogether  suited  to  the  twen- 
tieth. The  candidate  for  Holy  Orders,  and  scarcely  less  the  lay  member 
of  the  Church,  must  ask  himself,  not  whether  he  approves  and  accepts 
every  sentence  of  the  Prayer  Book  in  its  literal  meaning,  but  whether 
he  feels  himself  to  be  in  general  sympathy  with  its  language  and  its 


1904  THE  ATHANASIAN  CREED  77 

spirit ;  and  lie  will  allow  himself  the  greater  liberty,  as  he  reflects 
upon  the  difficulty  which  the  Church  has  experienced  for  a  long  time 
in  legislating  for  herself  or  in  getting  legislation  passed  for  her  through 
Parliament.  Still,  when  all  is  said,  it  remains  an  unhappy  circum- 
stance that  Churchmen  should  be  expected  on  solemn  festivals  to  take 
part  in  strong  condemnatory  phrases  which  they  do  not,  and  cannot 
in  their  consciences,  hold  to  be  literally  true. 

It  is  now  more  than  thirty  years  since  the  last  attempt  was  made 
to  meet  and  solve  the  problem  of  the  Athanasian  Creed.  The  story 
of  that  attempt  is  told  at  full  length  by  the  present  Archbishop  of 
Canterbury  in  the  twenty-second  chapter  of  the  Life  of  Archbishop 
Tait.  Archbishop  Tait  was  himself  in  favour  of  rescinding  the  obliga- 
tion to  use  the  creed  in  the  public  services  of  the  Church.  He  was 
defeated  by  the  strong  opposition  of  the  High  Church  party  under 
the  leading  of  Dr.  Pusey  and  Dr.  Liddon.  Dr.  Pusey  wrote  to  the 
Bishop  of  Winchester  on  the  19th  of  October,  1871  :  '  If  the  Athana- 
sian Creed  is  touched  I  see  nothing  to  be  done  but  to  give  up  my 
canonry  and  abandon  my  fight  for  the  Church  of  England.'  Dr. 
Liddon  wrote  to  the  Archbishop  of  Canterbury  on  the  23rd  of  December, 
1871: 

It  is  not,  I  trust,  obtrusive  or  other  than  right  in  me  to  state  firmly  to  your 
Grace  that  if  this  most  precious  creed  is  at  all  mutilated  by  the  excision  of  the 
so-termed  damnatory  clauses,  or  degraded — by  an  alteration  of  the  rubric  which 
precedes  it — from  its  present  position  in  the  Book  of  Common  Prayer,  I  shall 
feel  bound  in  conscience  to  resign  my  preferments  and  retire  from  the  ministry 
of  the  Church  of  England. 

Archbishop  Tait,  like  the  statesman  that  he  was,  chose  in  these 
circumstances  the  less  of  two  evils.  He  preferred  sacrificing  his  own 
views  upon  the  use  of  the  creed  to  breaking  up  the  Church,  whose 
chief  minister  he  was ;  and  the  creed  and  the  rubric  prescribing  its 
public  use  have  remained  without  alteration  to  the  present  time. 

Thirty  years  have  wrought  a  change  of  theological  opinion.  The 
liberalising  spirit  which  has  passed  upon  theology  has  intensified  the 
antipathy  of  many  devout  Churchmen  to  the  frequent  public  recitation 
of  the  creed.  High  Churchmen,  as  they  have  adopted  a  new  position 
in  regard  to  the  inspiration  of  Holy  Scripture,  have  apparently  adopted, 
or  are  adopting,  a  new  position  in  regard  to  the  public  use  of  the 
Athanasian  Creed.  The  Bishop  of  Worcester,  at  his  Diocesan  Con- 
ference, has  spoken  in  favour  of  a  resolution  :  '  that  the  present  rubric 
governing  the  use  of  the  Athanasian  Creed  is  the  cause  of  more  harm 
than  good,  and  should  be  fundamentally  altered.'  The  Bishop  of 
Chester,  at  his  Conference,  has  declared  the  creed  to  be  in  its  present 
form  c  an  absolute  stumbling-block  in  the  way  of  the  faith.' 

There  is  an  increasing  desire  also  to  bring  the  Church  of  England, 
in  her  use  of  the  Athanasian  Creed,  into  greater  harmony  with  the 
other  Churches  of  Christendom.  At  present  she  insists  upon  the 


78  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  July 

public  recitation  of  the  creed  thirteen  times  in  the  course  of  the  year. 
But  the  creed  is  not  so  treated  in  any  other  Church  of  Christendom 
(except,  indeed,  the  Episcopal  Church  of  Scotland),  nor  was  it  so 
treated  in  the  Church  of  England  herself  before  the  Reformation. 
It  is  not  similarly  recited  in  the  Church  of  Rome,  or  in  the  Churches 
of  the  East,  or  in  the  reformed  Lutheran  or  Calvinistic  Churches  of 
the  continent  of  Europe,  or  in  the  Presbyterian  Churches  of  Scotland 
or  in  the  Nonconformist  Churches  of  England.  It  is  not  similarly 
recited  in  the  Church  of  Ireland  or  in  the  Episcopal  Church  of  the 
United  States  of  America.2  The  rubric  enforcing  its  use  in  the  public 
services  of  the  Church  of  England  on  the  festivals  now  enumerated 
in  the  Prayer  Book  was  the  work  of  the  Anglican  Reformers.  It  first 
appeared  in  the  second  Prayer  Book  of  King  Edward  VI.  It  did 
not  in  express  terms  order  the  creed  to  be  used  as  a  substitute  for 
the  Apostles'  Creed  until  the  revision  of  the  Prayer  Book  in  1662. 
To  revert  to  the  more  ancient  Catholic  usage  of  the  creed  would  be 
in  accordance  with  the  growing  spirit  of  regard  for  the  principles  and 
practices  of  the  early  Church. 

In  these  circumstances  it  is  matter  for  thankfulness  that  the  Upper 
Houses  of  both  the  Convocations  of  Canterbury  and  York  should  have 
lately  passed  resolutions,  the  one  for  '  appointing  a  committee  to 
consider  in  what  way  the  present  use '  of  the  creed  '  may  be  modified, 
the  document  itself  being  retained  in  the  formularies  of  the  Church 
as  an  authoritative  statement  of  the  Church's  faith '  ;  the  other,  for 
'  restoring '  the  creed  '  to  its  more  ancient  use  as  a  document  for 
instruction  of  the  faithful,  in  such  manner  as  may  most  fully  safe- 
guard the  reverent  treatment  of  the  doctrines  of  the  faith.' 3  These 
resolutions  are  striking  in  themselves.  They  indicate  a  remarkable 
advance  of  episcopal  opinion.  But  there  is  no  reason  to  think  that 
the  bishops  have  gone  beyond  the  opinion  of  the  Lower  Houses  of  the 
Convocation,  or  the  Houses  of  Laymen,  or  the  clergy  and  laity  of  the 
Church  everywhere.  For  still  more  striking  than  the  resolutions  have 
been  the  debates  which  took  place  upon  them.  Almost  everybody 
who  has  spoken  has  expressed  himself  as  sympathetic  with  the  desire 
to  give  some  relief  to  anxious  consciences,  if  only  it  could  be  given 
without  compromising  the  Catholic  Faith ;  and  nobody  has  exhibited 
anything  like  the  bitterness  or  wilfulness  or  the  arbitrary  irrecon- 
cilable spirit  which  marked  the  debates,  or  some  of  the  speeches 
delivered  in  them,  thirty  years  ago.  But  when  men  who  resist  a 
policy  resist  it  not  because  it  is  wrong  in  itself,  but  because  of  con- 
sequences which  may  possibly  flow  from  it,  it  has  already  come  half- 
way to  success.  If  it  should  happen  that  the  several  parties  in 

2  Stanley,  The  Athanasian  Creed,  pp.  36  sqq.  His  statements  are  not  entirely 
accurate,  but  even  the  use  of  the  creed  at  Prime  in  the  Church  of  Borne  is  not  a 
parallel  to  its  use  at  Matins  in  the  Church  of  England. 

1  See  the  Guardian,  May  11,  1904. 


1904  THE  ATHANASIAN  CREED  79 

the  Church  came  to  agree  upon  a  change  in  the  treatment  of  the 
creed,  it  would  still  be  difficult  to  determine  what  the  treatment 
should  be. 

Three  main  proposals  of  reform  have  been  made  : — 

(1)  It  has  been  proposed  to  meet  the  difficulty  felt  about  the  creed 
by  retranslation.  Not  a  few  suggested  retranslations  have  appeared. 
It  will  be  enough  to  mention  that  the  Committee  of  Bishops  appointed 
more  than  thirty  years  ago  to  consider  the  use  of  the  Athanasian 
Creed  put  forward  suggestions  on  the  12th  of  February,  1872,  for 
certain  alterations  both  in  the  Latin  text  and  in  the  English  trans- 
lation. They  proposed  in  the  translation,  among  other  minor  changes, 

(a)  To  substitute  the  word  '  infinite  '  for  '  incomprehensible  '  and 
the  word  '  eternal '  for  '  everlasting '  throughout  the  creed. 

(6)  In  verse  1  to  read  '  Whosoever  willeth  to  be  saved '  instead 
of  '  Whosoever  will  be  saved.' 

(c)  In  verse  25  to  read  '  There  is  nothing  afore  or  after,  nothing 
greater  or  less.' 

(d)  In  verse  28  to  read  '  willeth  to  '  for  '  will '  and  '  let  him  think  ' 
for  '  must  think.' 

(e)  In  verse  29  to  read  '  faithfully  '  for  '  rightly.' 

(/)  In  verse  42  to  leave  out  all  the  words  after  '  faith '  and  to  sub- 
stitute for  them '  which  every  man  who  desireth  to  attain  to  eternal 
life  ought  to  know  wholly  and  to  guard  faithfully.' 

But  I  am  afraid  it  must  be  admitted  that  no  retranslation  can 
solve  the  question  of  the  creed.  The  Bishop  of  Worcester  has  said, 
rightly  enough,  that  '  the  objections  to  the  public  use  of  the  creed 
would  not  be  adequately  met  by  a  retranslation.'  So,  too,  the  Arch- 
bishop of  York :  '  We  can  use  the  most  perfect  possible  translation,  but 
we  cannot  touch  the  difficulties  which  surround  the  matter.'  For, 
in  fact,  the  Latin  original  is  frequently  open  to  the  same  objection 
as  the  English  translation.  To  take  the  first  two  verses  only,  the 
words : — 

Quicunque  vult  salvus  esse  ;  ante  omnia  opus  est  ut  teneat  Catholicam 
fidem. 

Quam  nisi  quisque  integram  inviolatamque  servaverit  ;  absque  dubio  in 
seternum  peribit. 

are  fully  as  explicit  as  '  Whosoever  will  be  saved,  before  all  things  it 
is  necessary  that  he  hold  the  Catholic  Faith ;  which  Faith  except  every- 
one do  keep  whole  and  undefiled,  without  doubt  he  shall  perish  ever- 
astingly.' 

It  is,  in  fact,  noticeable  that  the  six  professors  of  theology  in  the 
University  of  Oxford,  who  were  consulted  by  the  Committee  of  Bishops, 
Dr.  Mozley,  Dr.  Pusey,  Dr.  Ogilvie,  Dr.  Heurtley,  Dr.  Bright,  and 
Dr.  Liddon,  in  their  reply,  dated  the  30th  of  November,  1871,  avowed 
themselves  '  unable  to  make  any  suggestions  as  to  either  the  text  or 


80  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  July 

the  translation  which  may  be  expected  to  obviate  the  objections 
raised  against  the  creed.' 4 

(2)  A  second  proposed  remedy  is  expurgation. 

It  is  possible,  indeed,  to  draw  a  marked  distinction  between  the 
doctrinal  statements  of  the  creed  and  the  damnatory  clauses  which 
'precede  and  follow  them.  The  doctrinal  statements  have  been  some- 
times compared  to  a  picture,  the  damnatory  clauses  to  the  frame  in 
which  the  picture  is  set. 

Three  professors  of  theology  in  the  University  of  Cambridge,  Dr. 
Westcott,  Dr.  Swainson,  and  Dr.  Lightfoot,  in  their  reply  to  the  Com- 
mittee of  Bishops,  on  the  3rd  of  February,  1872,  argued  that  '  the 
admonitory  clauses  may  be  treated  as  separate  from  the  exposition 
itself,  and  may  be  modified  without  in  any  way  touching  what  is 
declared  therein  to  be  the  Catholic  Faith  ' ;  and  they  '  ventured  to 
express  an  opinion  that  it  is  the  office  of  the  Church  to  make  such 
changes  in  the  form  of  words  by  which  the  Faith  is  commended  to 
believers  as  may  be  required  for  their  edification  and  for  the  right 
understanding  of  her  own  meaning.' 

Modern  research,  however,  has  tended  to  show  that,  whether  the 
damnatory  clauses  are  or  are  not  as  a  frame  to  a  picture,  the  creed 
was  never  issued  without  them.  They  are  not  confined  to  the  begin- 
ning .and  the  end  of  the  creed.  To  leave  out  the  clauses,  and  still 
more  to  leave  out  any  doctrinal  portion  of  the  creed  itself,  would  be 
to  set  an  example  of  serious  and  even  dangerous  moment. 

The  practice  in  Westminster  Abbey  at  the  present  time  has  been 
misrepresented.  It  is  not  to  recite  a  revised  or  amended  Athanasian 
Creed  instead  of  the  Apostles'  Creed.  It  is  to  recite  the  Apostles' 
Creed  at  the  point  where  the  rubric  directs  that  the  Athanasian  Creed 
should  be  sung  or  said  in  place  of  it,  and  to  sing  a  revised  version  of 
the  Athanasian  Creed  called  '  A  Hymn  of  the  Catholic  Faith '  as  an 
anthem  at  a  later  point  in  the  service.  The  revision  of  the  creed 
consists  principally  in  omitting  the  first  two  and  the  last  three  verses  : 
i.e.  the  so-called  damnatory  clauses  and  the  doctrine  of  the  resurrection 
of  the  body.  It  must  depend,  I  think,  for  its  justification  upon  the 
assumption  that  the  Ordinary,  whether  the  Bishop,  or  in  Westminster 
Abbey  the  Dean,  is  legally  entitled,  upon  his  own  responsibility,  to 
break  the  rubric  prescribing  the  use  of  the  creed  and  to  alter  the 
creed  itself.  At  all  events  it  indicates  the  difficulty  of  touching  the 
creed  without  touching  its  doctrinal  statements. 

(3)  The  policy  of  saving  the  creed  by  appending  to  it  an  explanatory 
note  has  found  a  great  deal  of  support  at  different  times. 

The  first  Royal  Commissioners  appointed  for  the  Revision  of  the 
Liturgy  in  1689  suggested  this  addition  : — '  The  condemning  clauses 
are  to  be  understood  as  relating  only  to  those  who  obstinately  deny 
the  substance  of  the  Christian  Faith.'  The  Royal  Commissioners 

4  Swainson,  Nicene  and  Apostks1  Creeds,  p.  520. 


1904  THE  ATHANASIAN  CREED  81 

appointed  in  1867  suggested  this  : — '  That  the  condemnations  in  this 
Confession  of  Faith  are  to  be  no  otherwise  understood  than  as  a 
solemn  warning  of  the  peril  of  those  who  wilfully  reject  the  Catholic 
Faith.'  Among  other  suggestions  emanating  from  high  ecclesias- 
tical authorities  it  is  right  to  mention  that  of  the  six  professors  of 
theology  in  the  University  of  Oxford,  who  submitted  for  consideration 
in  1871  the  following  form  of  a  note  such  as  may  tend  to  remove 
some  misconceptions  : — '  That  nothing  in  this  creed  is  to  be  under- 
stood as  condemning  those  who  by  involuntary  ignorance  or  invincible 
prejudice  are  hindered  from  accepting  the  Faith  therein  declared.' 
But  this  note  Dr.  Pusey  felt  afterwards  to  be  unsatisfactory,  and  it 
appears  that  towards  the  end  of  1872  he  advocated  another.5  Finally, 
the  Convocation  of  Canterbury  issued  in  1873  a  declaration  for  the 
removal  of  doubts  and  to  prevent  disquietude  in  the  use  of  the  creed : 

(1)  That  the  creed  '  doth  not  make  any  addition  to  the  Faith  as  contained  in 
Holy  Scripture,  but  warneth  against  the  errors  which  from  time  to  tune  have 
arisen  in  the  Church  of  Christ.' 

(2)  That  '  the  warnings '  in  the  creed  '  are  to  be  understood  no  otherwise 
than  the  like  warnings  in  Holy  Scripture,  for  we  must  receive  God's  threatenings, 
even  as  His  promises,  in  such  wise  as  they  are  generally  set  forth  in  Holy  "Writ. 
Moreover,  the  Church  doth  not  herein  pronounce  judgment  on  any  particular 
person  or  persons,  God  only  being  Judge  of  all.' 

That  declaration  was  endorsed  in  1879.  But,  as  the  Archbishop  of 
Canterbury  said  in  reply  to  the  deputation  which  waited  upon  him 
on  the  31st  of  last  May,  it  has  remained  '  a  dead  letter  ever  since.' 

The  Bishop  of  Chester,  in  the  '  rearrangement  of  the  Athanasian 
Creed '  which  he  has  lately  '  put  forward  for  consideration  by  both 
the  clergy  and  the  laity  of  the  diocese,'  has  been  bold  enough  to  com- 
bine a  series  of  explanatory  notes  with  both  retranslation  and  expur- 
gation. 

It  is  not  possible  to  set  out  the  case  against  an  explanatory  rubric 
as  interpreting  the  terms  of  the  creed  in  clearer  or  juster  language 
than  was  used  by  Bishop  (afterwards  Archbishop)  Magee  in  Convoca- 
tion more  than  thirty  years  ago  : 

If  you  have  words  [he  said]  which  are  in  themselves  clear  and  simple, 
making  a  particular  statement  or  assertion,  it  is  simply  impossible  in  the  nature 
of  things  that  you  can  by  the  mere  exercise  of  your  will  put  a  gloss  upon  those 
words  to  explain  away  their  meaning.  Words  mean  what  logic  and  grammar 
make  them  to  mean.  You  may  debate  as  much  as  you  please  before  you  issue 
a  document  what  the  words  composing  it  shall  be,  but  when  you  have  put  it  out 
you  have  not  any  right  to  say '  These  words  shall  mean  this  or  that.'  They  pass 
under  the  dominion  of  grammar  and  must  mean  what  they  say.  No  man  has  a 
right  to  say  that  they  mean  anything  more  or  less  than  their  grammatical 
construction  implies  and  declares. 

If,  then,  it  is  desirable  to  afford  some  relief  both  to  clergy  and  to 

5  Life  of  E.  B.  Pusey,  vol.  iv.  p.  251 ;  compare  Life  of  Archbishop  Tait,  vol.  ii. 
p.  152. 

VOL.  LVI— No.   329  G 


82  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  July 

laity  in  the  matter  of  the  Athanasian  Creed,  and  if  the  three  suggested 
policies  are  all  more  or  less  unsatisfactory,  is  there  any  course  which 
can  be  safely  recommended  ? 

The  creed  is  not,  as  it  has  been  called  in  an  angry  pamphlet,  '  the 
curse  of  Christendom.'  But  it  is  unfitted  for  use  in  the  public  services 
of  the  Church.  It  is  as  little  suited  for  public  recitation  as  the  Articles 
themselves.  It  is  a  scholar's  creed ;  it  demands  a  learning,  a  thought- 
fulness,  an  historical  spirit  which  cannot  be  presumed  in  congregations 
including  a  great  variety  of  men  and  women,  educated  and  uneducated, 
and  boys  and  girls  and  little  children.  The  language  employed  in 
public  worship  should  always  bear  its  meaning  on  its  face.  However 
stately  it  may  be,  it  should  convey  a  clear  and  just  impression  to  all 
who  use  it.  A  document  which  requires  to  be  explained  or  explained 
away  as  often  as  it  is  used  is  sure  to  be  a  source  of  distress  and  irri- 
tation rather  than  of  spiritual  benefit.  Anything  is  better  than  an 
unnatural  interpretation  of  solemn  words  publicly  used.  But  the 
Athanasian  Creed  is  so  apt  to  be  misunderstood  that  it  ought  not  to 
be  used  in  public  services.  It  should  be  a  work,  not  for  recitation, 
but  for  reference.8 

My  own  earnest  hope  is  that  the  Bishops,  as  the  natural  leaders  of 
the  Church,  will  try  to  meet  the  difficulty  felt  about  the  public  use  of 
the  creed.  It  may  not  be  in  their  power  at  present  to  effect  legislation 
which  would  alter  the  rubric  prescribing  the  recitation  of  the  creed  ; 
but  if  they  should  resolve  and  declare  that  in  their  judgment  it  is 
undesirable  to  make  the  public  use  of  the  creed  any  longer  obligatory, 
they  would  take  such  action  as  would  greatly  relieve  the  consciences 
of  the  clergy,  who  now  feel  that,  if  they  omit  the  creed,  they  are 
acting  against  authority,  and,  if  they  use  it,  that  they  are  doing 
what  is  painful  to  many  members  of  their  congregations,  and  often 
to  themselves. 

The  argument  for  abandoning  the  use  of  the  creed  in  public  services 
is  not  only  or  chiefly  that  the  creed  is  harshly  expressed,  or  that  it 
cannot  by  a  forced  interpretation  be  rendered  harmless,  but  that  it  is 
suited  for  the  study,  and  not  for  the  church.  It  creates  a  false  impres- 
sion, and  an  impression  which  grows  falser  year  by  year.  It  inculcates, 
or  seems  to  inculcate,  a  perverted  view  of  the  consequences  attaching 
to  Christian  faith  and  Christian  duty.  It  differs  widely  in  letter 
and  spirit  from  the  simplicity  of  the  Gospel.  To  quote  the  words 
with  which  the  late  Dr.  Swainson  ends  his  treatise  upon  the  Nicene 
and  Apostles'  Creeds  :  '  The  dogmas  of  the  Athanasian  Creed  are 
for  the  scientific  theologian;  the  Bible  revelation  of  the  Father, 
Son,  and  Holy  Spirit  for  every  Christian.'  Or,  to  go  yet  further 
back  to  the  famous  passage  of  Jeremy  Taylor  in  his  Liberty  of 
Prophesying  : 7 

•  See  the  speeches  of  the  Archbishop  of  York  and  the  Bishops  of  Durham  and 
Chester  in  the  Convocation  of  York,  as  reported  in  the  Guardian,  February  17,  1904. 
7  Section  ii.  p.  74. 


1904  THE  ATHANASIAN  CREED  83 

If  I  should  be  questioned  concerning  the  Symbol  of  Athanasius  ...  I  confess 
I  cannot  see  that  moderate  sentence  and  gentleness  of  charity  in  his  preface 
as  there  was  in  the  Nicene  Creed.  Nothing  there  but  damnation  and  perishing 
everlastingly,  unless  the  article  of  the  Trinity  be  believed,  as  it  is  there  with 
curi  osity  and  minute  particularities  explained.  .  .  .  For  the  articles  themselves, 
I  am  most  heartily  persuaded  of  the  truth  of  them,  and  yet  I  dare  not  say  all 
that  are  not  so  are  inevitably  damned,  because  citra  hoc  symbolum  the  faith  of 
the  Apostles'  Creed  is  entire,  and  he  that  believeth  and  is  baptized  shall  be  saved : 
that  is,  he  that  believeth  such  a  belief  as  is  sufficient  disposition  to  be  baptized, 
that  faith  with  the  sacrament  is  sufficient  for  heaven.  .  .  .  Besides,  if  it  were 
considered  concerning  Athanasius'  Creed,  how  many  people  understand  it  not, 
how  contrary  to  natural  reason  it  seems,  how  little  the  Scripture  says  of  those 
curiosities  of  explication,  and  how  tradition  was  not  clear  on  his  side  for  the 
article  itself  ...  it  had  not  been  amiss  if  the  final  judgment  had  been  left  to 
Jesus  Christ,  for  He  is  appointed  Judge  of  all  the  world,  and  He  shall  judge  the 
people  righteously. 

Perhaps  no  wiser  words — none  more  Christian — could  be  spoken 
than  these. 

J.  E.  C.  WELLDON. 


o  2 


84  TEE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 


THE    VIRGIN-BIRTH 


IT  has  been  said  by  a  recent  writer  that  '  the  idea  of  miraculous  birth 
has  fascinated  the  minds  of  men  in  all  parts  of  the  world  from  the 
earliest  times,'  and  if  the  question  of  such  a  birth  be  limited  to  an 
idea,  the  statement  may  possibly  be  true  ;  but  if  belief  in  the  virgin- 
birth  of  Jesus  Christ  as  an  historical  fact  is  to  be  insisted  on,  any 
feeling  of  fascination  is  likely  to  give  place  to  one  of  perplexity  and 
doubt.  Thus,  when  lately  it  became  known  that  the  vicar  of  a  parish 
in  England  had  been  constrained  to  resign  his  cure  of  souls  because  he 
was  unable  to  give  his  assent  to  the  doctrine  of  the  virgin-birth,  the 
question  was  very  generally  asked  whether  in  the  present  day  there 
exists  any  necessity  for  insisting  on  a  belief  in  this  doctrine,  seeing 
that  to  the  minds  of  most  men  the  story  of  Christ's  life  and  teaching 
affords  more  convincing  evidence  of  his  divine  mission  than  the 
narrative  of  any  abnormal  circumstances  attending  his  birth  can 
produce.  It  is  not,  however,  proposed  now  to  discuss  either  the 
possibility  of  or  the  necessity  for  a  virgin-birth,  nor  to  ask  whether 
a  purely  spiritual  influence  could  cause  the  birth  of  a  human  body  : 
the  question  for  inquiry  here  will  be  limited  to  the  consideration  of 
the  weight  or  force  of  the  historical  evidence  on  which  the  narrative 
of  the  virgin-birth  of  Jesus  Christ  rests.  Now,  in  attempting  to 
estimate  the  value  of  this  evidence,  one  point  is  clear  beyond 
doubt,  namely,  that  of  all  the  writers  in  the  New  Testament  two 
alone  make  any  mention  of  a  miraculous  birth,  while  the  accounts  of 
it  given  by  these  two  writers  are  widely  divergent.  Another  point 
equally  clear  is  that  the  first  and  the  last  written  of  the  four  records 
of  Christ's  life  contain  no  statement  of  nor  any  allusion  to  a  virgin- 
birth.  Thus,  the  writer  of  Mark's  gospel,  which  is  allowed  to  be  the 
most  ancient  of  the  four  records — it  may  possibly  have  been  written 
within  forty  years  after  Christ's  death — certainly  never  heard  of  the 
virgin-birth.  And  with  regard  to  the  fourth  and  last  written  gospel, 
if  this  book  be  the  work  of  John  the  son  of  Zebedee,  the  truth  of  the 
story  of  a  miraculous  birth  must  be  altogether  discarded  ;  for  if  John, 
in  whose  home  Mary  lived  as  his  own  mother,  never  heard  from  her 
of  this  wondrous  birth,  it  is  manifest  that  such  an  event  never  happened, 
since,  from  the  nature  of  the  case,  any  account  of  it,  to  be  worthy  of 


1904  THE    VIRGIN-BIRTH  85 

credit,  must  have  been  derived  from  Mary  herself.  But  whether  the 
fourth  gospel  was  written  by  John  the  son  of  Zebedee,  or,  as  seems 
more  probable,  by  John  the  Elder  or  Presbyter  of  Ephesus,  the  fact 
remains  that,  although  this  gospel  was  compiled  for  the  express  pur- 
pose of  setting  forth  and  insisting  upon  the  divine  side  or  aspect  of 
Christ's  nature,  the  writer  of  it  had  no  knowledge  of  his  miraculous  or 
divine  birth.  Now  let  us  first  turn  to  the  account  given  in  Luke's 
gospel  (i.  26-56) :  here  we  have  no  dream,  but  the  actual  appearance 
of  a  heavenly  messenger  who  makes  an  announcement  to  Mary  which 
necessarily  cannot  long  be  kept  secret ;  in  fact,  Mary  does  not  attempt 
to  keep  it  secret,  but  proceeds  to  sing  what  is  plainly  a  paraphrase  of 
Hannah's  song  or  prayer,  recorded  in  1  Samuel  ii.  1-11,  except  that 
in  Mary's  hymn  there  seems  to  be  less  exultation  than  appears  in 
Hannah's  song,  though  Hannah  was  rejoicing  only  in  the  birth  of  a 
human  son.  Next,  look  at  the  terms  in  which  the  communication  is 
made  to  Mary  by  Gabriel ;  now,  if  the  narrative  intends  us  to  under- 
stand, as  it  clearly  appears  to  do,  that  the  prediction  uttered  in  verse  35 
did,  in  fact,  come  to  pass,  then  it  is  plain  that  Jesus  Christ  never  was 
'  the  son  of  the  man ' — never  was  the  true  typical  man.  and  the  title 
which  he  chose  before  all  others  was  therefore  misleading  and  difficult 
to  understand.  Moreover,  it  is  certain  that  nowhere  in  the  gospel 
narratives  is  Christ  ever  represented  as  claiming  for  himself  a  miraculous 
or  virgin-birth  (Luke  iv.  22-24).  Then,  again,  Gabriel  says  to  Mary : 
*  The  Lord  God  shall  give  unto  him  the  throne  of  his  father  David.' 
Could  any  divine  messenger  have  spoken  thus  of  him  who  was  to  live 
the  life  of  a  village  carpenter,  and  to  die  the  death  of  a  malefactor  ? 
Such  words  would  have  been  a  stumbling-block  in  Mary's  path  all  her 
days.  So  with  regard  to  the  name  '  Jesus.'  Gabriel  could  never  have 
used  this  word,  which  is  a  Greek  rendering  of  the  Hebrew  name 
'  Joshua ; ' — thus  in  the  Septuagint  or  Greek  version  of  the  Old  Testa- 
ment the  Book  of  Joshua  is  the  Book  of  Jesus.  Gabriel  in  addressing 
the  Hebrew  maid  Mary  must  have  used  the  Hebrew  name  Joshua 
(Yehoshua),  not  the  Greek  rendering  of  it,  Jesus  (lesous).  If  so, 
Christ's  name  never  was  Jesus,  but  Joshua.  Now,  the  meaning  of 
the  word  Jesus  seems  to  be  '  healer ; '  if,  therefore,  'I^o-oOs  (in 
Latin 'Jesus')  is  derived  from  ia,  the  root  in  Idoftat,  to  heal  or 
cure,  it  is  not  impossible  that,  Christ  being  known  as  '  the  healer '  of 
Nazareth,  his  true  name  soon  became  lost,  and  thus  to  the  earliest 
Greek  converts — Greek  Jews  of  the  Dispersion — he  was  known  only 
by  the  name  of  '  the  healer,'  '  the  Jesus  of  Nazareth.'  Or  is  it  possible 
that  IHC  was  a  mystic  word  used  in  the  ancient  Greek  mysteries, 
and  was  by  the  early  converts  from  mysticism  given  to  Christ  as  the 
true  fount  of  the  '  healing '  water  of  life  ?  (John  iv.  14).  Certain  it 
is  that  immortality  or  life  beyond  the  grave  was  the  great  object  of 
attainment  held  out  in  the  Greek  mysteries,  and  no  one  can  read 
Christ's  discourses,  as  given  in  the  fourth  gospel,  without  noting  the 


86  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  July 

insistence  with  which  He  urges  His  power  to  grant  eternal  life  (John  vi. 
27-58) ;  so  much  so  is  this  the  case  that  it  would  almost  appear  as  though 
some  of  these  discourses  were  written  with  the  object  of  supplanting 
or  superseding  the  Greek  mysteries,  that  is  to  say,  of  drawing  into  the 
Christian  fold  all  those  who  had  made  trial  of  the  mysteries  and  found 
them  wanting ;  in  fact,  the  mysticism  is  at  times  so  pronounced,  and 
the  invitation  to  come  to  Christ  so  persistent,  that  we  seem  to  be 
listening  to  one  who  had  himself  passed  through  the  mysteries  and 
had  experienced  their  emptiness  and  futility  (xii.  24-27 ;  ch.  x.).  How- 
ever, the  consideration  of  questions  such  as  these  relates  to  the  subject 
of  the  passing  of  Christianity  from  the  Jew  to  the  Greek,  rather  than 
to  the  particular  matter  now  under  discussion.  To  return,  then,  to 
Luke's  account :  even  in  the  narrative  itself  we  seem  to  find  evidence 
against  the  story  of  Gabriel  and  the  miraculous  birth.  Thus,  how 
could  the  writer  of  verse  35  (ch.  i.)  repeatedly  speak  of  Joseph  as  Christ's 
father  (ii.  27,  33,  41,  43,^48),  and  why  should  Joseph  and  Mary  marvel 
at  the  things  which  were  spoken  (v.  33),  if  Gabriel's  prediction  had 
become  true  ?  Or  how  could  Mary,  in  speaking  of  Joseph  (v.  48),  say 
to  Christ :  '  Thy  father  and  I  sought  thee,'  if  the  tremendous  expe- 
rience of  a  miraculous  birth  had  been  hers  ?  Now  let  us  turn  to  the 
account  in  Matthew,  and  the  first  question  that  will  occur  to  any 
reader  of  ch.  i.  is  this  :  Why  should  the  life  of  Christ  commence  with 
the  genealogy  of  Joseph  (v.  16),  if  Joseph  were  not  Christ's  father  ? 
Another  point  is  that  the  writer  of  this  chapter,  or  of  verses  18  to  25, 
seems  never  to  have  heard  of  Gabriel's  mission  to  Mary,  for  here  in 
Matthew  the  vision  or  dream  happens  to  Joseph,  and  not  to  Mary, 
and  the  name  of  Jesus  is  communicated  to  Joseph,  and  not  to  Mary, 
and  an  explanation  of  the  name  is  given  to  Joseph  which  was  certainly 
not  given  by  Gabriel.  But  what  can  be  said  of  the  writer  of  verses  22 
and  23  (Matt,  i.)  in  citing  a  passage  from  Isaiah  which  cannot 
support  or  bear  the  construction  for  which  it  is  quoted  ?  For  it  is 
clear  that  the  woman  (translated  'virgin')  in  Isaiah  vii.  14  is 
the  same  woman — the  prophetess — who  is  spoken  of  in  viii.  3  (Isaiah), 
and  equally  clear  is  it  that  no  virgin-birth  in  her  case  is  even  suggested, 
but  quite  the  contrary.  The  whole  point  of  the  prophecy  in  Isaiah  is 
that  '  before  the  child  shall  know  to  refuse  evil  and  choose  the  good, 
the  land,  whose  two  kings  thou  abhorrest,  shall  be  forsaken '  (vii.  16  ; 
vui.  4),  not,  that  the  child  is  to  have  a  miraculous  birth.  Moreover, 
the  writer  in  Matthew  does  not  quote  correctly  the  passage  which  he 
professes  to  cite  (i.  23),  for  the  words  in  the  Septuagint  are  '  and  thou 
shalt  call  [tcdXeasm— not  they  shall  caU]  his  name  Immanuel,'  that 
is  to  say,  *  you  (Isaiah)  shall  name  your  son  Immanuel ; '  this  is  clear 
from  viii.  3,  KOI  Trpocrff^Oov  irpos  ryv  TrpotprJTiv.  The  fact  seems 
to  be  that  this  passage  in  Matthew  (i.  18-25)  is  an  interpola- 
tion, though  possibly  an  early  one  ;  but  whether  this  be  so  or  not,  it  is 
plain  that  the  information  on  which  the  story  of  Joseph's  dream  is 


1904  THE   VIRGIN-BIRTH  87 

based  must  have  been  derived  from  a  source  entirely  unknown  to 
every  other  writer  of  the  life  of  Christ — even  to  Luke,  who,  though 
narrating  in  considerable  detail  the  history  of  the  apparition  to  Zacha- 
rias,  does  not  say  a  word  about  any  vision  or  dream  occurring  to 
Joseph.  It  seems,  therefore,  that  the  idea  of  a  divine  or  miraculous 
birth  is  of  Greek  rather  than  of  Hebrew  or  Jewish  origin ,'  to  the 
Hebrew  mind  it  seemed  enough  that  their  Messiah  should  be  the  son 
of  David  '  according  to  the  flesh,'  but  to  the  Greeks  a  divine  birth  for 
their  heroes  or  saviours  was  a  necessity.  It  would  appear  as  though 
this  notion  of  a  miraculous  or  virgin-birth  arose  at  the  time  of  the 
passing  of  Christianity  from  the  '  world  of  Syrian  peasants '  to  the 
'  world  of  Greek  philosophers,'  and  gained  acceptance  as  filling  a 
want  vaguely  felt  by  the  Greek  converts.  But  that  the  first  followers 
of  Christ  knew  nothing  of  the  story  of  the  virgin-birth  seems  plain 
from  the  fact  that  there  is  not  the  smallest  allusion  to  it  in  any  of  the 
Epistles ;  in  fact,  in  some  of  them  both  the  argument  and  the  words 
used  are  distinctly  against  any  idea  of  a  miraculous  birth  (Romans  i. 
3  ;  viii.  3).  If,  then,  the  writers  of  the  earliest  treatises  dealing  with 
the  principles  of  the  Christian  faith  never  heard  of  the  virgin-birth, 
and  felt  no  necessity  for  it,  why  should  belief  in  such  a  doctrine,  resting 
as  it  does  on  scanty  and  unsatisfactory  evidence,  any  longer  be 
insisted  on  ? 

SLADE  BUTLER.' 


88  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 


INVISIBLE  RADIATIONS 


THERE  exist  radiations  which  differ  from  the  whole  category  to  which 
radiant  heat  and  light  belong,  not  so  much  in  their  effects  as  in  their 
nature  ;  indeed,  they  can  only  be  called  radiations  at  all  by  an  exten- 
sion of  the  meaning  of  that  word,  for  they  are  really  streams  of  particles 
bearing  an  electric  charge  and  moving  in  straight  lines  at  various 
rates  of  speed.  The  extended  meaning  of  the  word  radiation  to 
include  all  ray-like  projections,  whether  material  or  otherwise,  has 
now  been  universally  adopted,  the  word  emanation,  which  might 
perhaps  have  served,  being  reserved  to  denote  those  outgoings  from 
a  substance  which  >diff use  away  from  it  after  the  manner  of  a  vapour 
or  scent.  That  there  are  such  radiations  was,  in  the  first  instance, 
perceived  by  the  phenomena  which  accompany  the  passage  of  an  electric 
current  through  a  tube  containing  highly  rarefied  air.  That  radiations 
similar  to  those  which  are  thus  artificially  produced  in  the  laboratory 
also  exist  spontaneously  in  nature,  is  a  discovery  made  within  the  last 
few  years,  the  theoretical  importance  of  which  can  hardly  be  overrated. 

It  is  now  known  that  all  the  compounds  of  uranium,  thorium,  and 
radium  continuously  emit  such  radiations,  independently  of  any  known 
supply  of  energy  from  without,  and  unaffected  by  temperature  or 
pressure,  or  any  physical  conditions  whatsoever.  Nor  is  this  radio- 
activity, as  it  is  called,  the  result  of  chemical  action  or  combination. 
The  property,  which  is  probably  due  to  changes  taking  place  within 
the  atom  itself,  is  most  clearly  manifested  in  the  case  of  radium,  and 
therefore  it  is  easiest  to  study  radio-activity  by  means  of  radium ;  even 
as  it  is  easiest  to  study  magnetism  by  means  of  iron,  although  nickel 
and  cobalt  are  magnetic  substances  too,  and  all  substances  show  traces 
of  magnetism  in  an  exceedingly  slight  degree.  Very  probably  radio- 
activity is  also  a  property  of  matter  as  such,  but  the  feeble  manifesta- 
tions upon  which  this  surmise  is  founded  were  never  discovered  until 
now  because  there  was  no  reason  until  now  to  suspect  their  existence. 

There  are  three  kinds  of  rays  which  are  produced  together  by  an 
electric  current  in  a  vacuum  tube  and  found  together  in  radium 
radiation.  They  are  :  Rays  bearing  a  positive  charge,  rays  bearing  a 
negative  charge,  and  uncharged  rays,  which  apparently  always  ac- 
company these  electric  rays,  but  which  belong  to  a  totally  different 


1904  INVISIBLE  RADIATIONS  89 

category.  In  any  general  survey  of  these  radiations  it  is  difficult  to 
know  what  to  call  them  because  of  the  many  names  they  bear.  The 
negatively  charged  rays  which  issue  from  the  cathode  of  the  vacuum 
tube  are  called  cathode  rays  inside  the  tube,  but  outside  the  tube  they 
are  called  Lenard  rays,  because  Lenard  succeeded  in  causing  them  to 
pass  through  a  thin  window  of  aluminium,  and  was  thus  enabled  to 
study  them  under  conditions  other  than  those  in  which  they  were 
produced.  Positively  charged  rays,  which  appear  simultaneously 
with  the  cathode  rays,  but  are  much  more  difficult  to  identify,  are 
called  channel  rays  (Kanalstrahlen).  because  they  were  first  observed 
by  using  as  cathode  a  piece  of  metal  pierced  with  holes,  so  placed  that 
the  positively  charged  particles  passed  through  the  holes.  Being  thus 
sharply  separated  from  the  negative  cathode  rays  which  moved  in  the 
opposite  direction,  the  positive  radiation  could  be  rendered  distinctly 
manifest.  The  marvellously  penetrating  rays  which  arise  where  the 
cathode  rays  strike  glass  or  metal  were  called  by  their  discoverer 
X-rays.  It  is  now  more  usual  to  speak  of  them  as  Rontgen  rays. 
Radiations  which  are  spontaneously  emitted  are  collectively  called 
Becquerel  rays,  in  honour  of  the  discoverer  of  radio-activity ;  and, 
individually,  the  positively  charged  rays  are  called  a-rays,  the  nega- 
tively charged  rays  /3-rays,  and  the  uncharged  rays,  which  resemble 
the  Rontgen  rays,  are  called  7-rays — a  notation  suggested  by  Ruther- 
ford. This  multiplicity  of  names  is  of  historic  interest,  and  may  be 
convenient  for  the  physicist,  but  it  tends  to  obscure  the  essential 
identity.  The  first  two  classes  can  be  called  positive  and  negative  radia- 
tion, but  no  generic  name  seems  yet  to  be  in  use  for  the  X-rays  type. 
These  radiations  are  invisible,  and  were  detected  by  their  effects ; 
in  the  first  instance,  many  years  ago,  by  the  effect  of  fluorescence 
during  the  passage  of  an  electric  current  through  a  tube  in  which  the 
air  was  so  highly  rarefied  that  it  could  not  absorb  and  check  the 
radiation  proceeding  from  the  cathode.  Where  the  glass  wall  did 
check  that  radiation  the  visible  effect  was  brilliant  fluorescence.  As 
all  the  radiations  produce  fluorescent  effects  if  they  are  sufficiently 
intense,  it  is  possible  to  make  their  path  evident  by  means  of  fluorescent 
screens.  The  self-luminosity  of  the  purer  salts  of  radium  is  believed 
to  be  due  to  phosphorescence  caused  by  the  radiations  within  the 
substance  itself,  but  what  the  connection  between  the  radiations  and 
phosphorescence  really  is  we  cannot  tell.  Phosphorescence — which 
differs  from  fluorescence  only  in  that  it  continues  for  an  appreciable 
time  after  the  cause  which  has  produced  it  has  ceased  to  act — is  called 
forth  by  the  more  refrangible  rays  of  ordinary  light.  If  the  ultra- 
violet part  of  the  spectrum  of  sunlight,  or  preferably  electric  arc  light, 
be  thrown  upon  a  suitable  phosphorescent  screen,  the  invisible  rays 
become  visible  as  violet,  blue,  or  green,  and  sometimes  even  as  yellow 
or  red.  Stokes  gave  the  explanation  of  this  when  he  showed  that  in 
every  case  the  incident  light  is  changed  by  the  phosphorescent  sub- 


90  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

stance  into  light  of  longer  wave-length.  How  that  change  is  brought 
about  we  do  not  know.  Many  substances  only  show  phosphorescent 
effects  if  they  are  not  quite  chemically  pure,  and  this  renders  it 
possible  that  the  cause  is  some  kind  of  chemical  action.  On  the 
other  hand,  there  are  facts,  such  as  the  luminous  effects  produced  by 
cleavage  and  friction,  which  seem  to  suggest  a  mechanical  cause. 
Moreover,  phosphorescence  is,  to  a  certain  degree,  a  function  of  the 
temperature.  Thus  various  materials — paper,  for  instance — can  be 
made  brilliantly  luminous  if  they  are  at  the  temperature  of  liquid  air, 
while  certain  crystals  and  various  kinds  of  glass  become  phosphores- 
cent without  any  other  agency  if  they  are  heated.  Again,  if  a  sub- 
stance which  has  been  rendered  phosphorescent  by  light  be  heated 
while  it  is  still  luminous,  the  effect  is,  first,  great  increase  of  bright- 
ness, and,  next,  far  more  rapid  extinction.  So  sensitive  is  phosphores- 
cence to  the  radiation  of  heat,  that  even  some  of  the  visible  rays  at 
the  red  end  of  the  solar  spectrum,  and  still  more  the  invisible  heat 
rays,  suffice  in  certain  cases  to  extinguish  the  light,  after  having  first 
caused  a  brief  increase  of  activity.  These  and  other  curious  inter- 
actions between  heat,  light,  and  phosphorescence  show  that  the 
phenomena  are,  in  any  case,  extremely  complicated.  Possibly  there 
is  really  a  close  link  between  phosphorescence  and  radio-activity,  so 
that  knowledge  concerning  the  one  may  throw  light  on  the  other. 

A  principle  which  has  produced  great  results  in  modern  research 
is  that  it  is  worth  while  to  seek  elsewhere  for  what  is  known  to  exist 
anywhere.  It  was  this  principle  which  inspired  Becquerel  when  he 
made  experiments  with  fluorescent  salts,  in  the  hope  of  finding  radia- 
tions which  should,  like  the  Rontgen  rays,  act  on  the  photographic 
plate  through  substances  opaque  to  light.  He  found  far  more  than  he 
had  sought,  but  it  was  some  time  before  the  evidently  complex  nature 
of  the  spontaneously  emitted  uranium  radiation  he  had  detected  was 
thoroughly  understood ;  not,  indeed,  till  after  the  discovery  of  that 
superlatively  radio-active  element  so  aptly  named  radium.  It  was 
then  seen  that  part  of  the  radiation  can  be  bent  out  of  its  course  by  a 
strong  magnetic  field  in  precisely  the  same  manner  as  cathode  rays 
can  be  bent  aside.  This  part  forms  the  /3-rays.  Later  on  it  was  found 
possible  in  the  case  of  radium,  if  the  magnetic  field  was  sufficiently 
intense,  to  deflect  slightly  a  considerable  portion  of  the  remaining 
radiation  in  the  opposite  direction.  This  portion  constitutes  the 
a-rays.  The  7-rays  are,  like  the  Rontgen  rays,  unaffected  by  mag- 
netism. Like  the  Rontgen  rays  also,  they  traverse  a  prism  without 
refraction.  Very  little  is  known  about  them  because  of  their  exceeding 
penetrativeness  ;  on  which  account  it  is  possible  that  a  great  proportion 
of  this  radiation  escapes  detection  altogether,  for  rays  which  traverse 
substances  without  any  check  can  produce  no  perceptible  effects  at  all. 

The  photographs  obtained  by  making  the  radiations  permanently 
record  their  own  path  furnish  valuable  data  for  the  mathematician 


1904  INVISIBLE   RADIATIONS  91 

and  for  the  experimentalist.  Thus  it  is  clearly  seen  that,  under  the 
influence  of  magnetism,  the  /3-rays  describe  circles  of  varying  radius ; 
whence  it  follows  that  they  vary  in  velocity.  It  is  also  clearly  seen 
that  the  yS-  and  7-rays  are  perfectly  distinct,  for  there  is  marked  dis- 
continuity between  the  least  deflected  /9-rays  and  the  totally  unde- 
flected  7-rays.  Furthermore,  the  photographs  show  that  it  is  the 
7-rays  and  the  least  deflected  yQ-rays  which  most  easily  penetrate 
obstacles  placed  in  their  path  ;  but  where  /3-  or  7-rays  are  checked  by 
the  substances  they  traverse,  they  give  rise  to  secondary  rays 
emanating  from  those  substances — rays  not  due  to  reflection  or 
diffusion,  but  analogous  rather  to  phosphorescence,  for  they  have  not 
precisely  the  same  properties  as  the  rays  which  call  them  forth.  The 
a -rays  cannot  pass  through  obstacles,  and  are  totally  absorbed  even 
by  air  at  a  very  short  distance  from  their  source. 

The  chief  difference  between  positive  and  negative  radiation, 
wheresoever  found,  is  this.  Negative  radiation  is  formed  of  those 
inconceivably  minute  particles  called  electrons,  which  some  physicists 
believe  may  consist  entirely  of  electricity ;  while  positive  radiation  is 
formed  of  particles  which  seem  to  be  of  the  order  of  atoms,  and  which, 
hence,  are,  when  compared  with  electrons,  of  enormous  size  and  mass. 
The  velocity  of  the  radiations  varies  greatly.  In  the  cathode  rays  it 
is  one-fifth  that  of  light ;  in  the  /3-rays  of  radium  the  highest  value 
is  about  one-third  that  of  light.  '  Slow  '  negative  rays,  such  as  some 
of  those  which  can  be  drawn  out  of  metal  by  the  agency  of  the  light 
of  the  electric  arc,  or  other  source  rich  in  ultra-violet  rays,  have  a 
velocity  which  is  about  a  hundredth  that  of  light.  It  is  interesting  to 
note  that  the  feeble  magnetism  of  the  earth  suffices  to  curve  the  slower 
radiations.  The  apparent  convergence  of  the  rays  of  an  aurora 
borealis  is  an  optical  effect  believed  to  be  due  to  this  cause.  Positive 
radiation  is  more  difficult  to  study,  and  little  is  known  about  it  yet. 
The  a-rays  of  radium  have  a  velocity  which  is  a  twentieth  that  of  light. 
In  uranium  radiation  there  seem  to  be  no  a-rays  ;  but  since  wherever 
electricity  of  one  sign  is  made  manifest  an  equal  quantity  of  electricity 
of  the  opposite  sign  is  liberated  somewhere,  the  probability  is  that  in 
this  and  in  other  cases  where  we  perceive  negative  radiation  alone,  the 
positive  charge  is  left  on  atoms  which  remain  in  the  substance  itself. 

The  effect  which  is  by  far  the  most  sensitive  test  of  the  existence 
of  these  invisible  radiations,  and  which  is,  moreover,  the  only  effect 
capable  of  quantitative  measurement,  is  that  of  rendering  air  conduc- 
tive to  electricity.  In  the  phraseology  of  that  theory  which  is  at 
present  held  to  be  the  best  means  of  co-ordinating  the  facts,  the  radia- 
tions ionise  the  air.  According  to  this  theory,  the  impact  of  the  radia- 
tions causes  a  certain  atomic  dislocation  in  some  of  the  particles  of 
the  air,  so  that  these  particles  are  separated  into  those  positive  and 
negative  parts  which,  in  all  matter,  neutralise  one  another  when  united 
— parts  similar  to  those  of  which  the  charged  radiations  themselves  are 


92  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

composed.  It  is  the  movement  of  these  parts  under  the  influence  of 
electric  forces  which  constitutes  the  current.  Independently  of  any 
theory,  we  know  as  experimentally  proved  facts  that  the  change  in 
the  air  which  makes  it  conductive  is  accompanied  by  the  formation 
of  centres  upon  which  water-vapour  can  condense,  for  air  which  was 
dust  free  and  perfectly  clear  may  become  cloudy  after  ionisation; 
that  these  centres  are  positively  and  negatively  charged,  for  they 
can  be  drawn  away  by  an  electric  field  ;  that  their  velocity  is  not  high, 
for  they  can  be  blown  out  of  their  course  by  even  a  feeble  current  of 
air ;  and  that  the  removal  of  these  '  ions '  destroys  the  conductibility 
of  the  air.  Hence  it  is  a  legitimate  inference,  and  independent  of  any 
hypothesis  as  to  their  nature,  that  the  conductibility  is  due  to  the 
ions.  It  is  the  more  necessary  to  distinguish  between  proved  facts, 
which  are  an  abiding  possession,  and  the  more  or  less  ephemeral 
theories  based  upon  those  facts,  because  physicists  now  look  upon 
theories  of  any  kind  as  little  else  but  convenient  tools.  '  The  merit  of 
a  theory,'  it  has  been  recently  said,  '  consists  not  in  being  true,  for 
no  theories  are  true,  but  in  being  fertile ' — that  is  to  say,  in  being 
not  only  a  satisfactory  and  self-consistent  representation  of  the 
totality  of  the  facts,  so  far  as  we  know  them,  but  also  in  suggesting 
by  the  images  used  in  which  direction  to  seek  for  further  knowledge. 
When,  as  is  the  case  with  the  theory  of  ions,  calculations  made  on 
the  suppositions  involved  in  the  pictorial  representation  lead  to  far- 
reaching  conclusions,  which  have  been  verified  when  put  to  the  test  of 
experiment  and  observation,  then  the  theory  is  certainly  fertile ;  and 
a  theory  can  only  be  fertile,  one  would  imagine,  in  virtue  of  bearing, 
in  however  remote  a  degree,  some  resemblance  to  the  truth. 

By  the  test  of  ionisation  it  would  appear  from  the  researches  of 
several  physicists  that  radio-activity  is,  in  a  feeble  degree,  a  property 
of  very  many  substances,  and,  indeed,  perhaps  of  all. 

An  exceedingly  interesting  series  of  observations  made  by  the 
German  physicists  Elster  and  Geitel  has  proved  the  universality  of 
radio-activity  from  another  point  of  view.  About  ten  years  ago, 
while  studying  atmospheric  electricity,  they  found  that  even  in  the 
driest  air,  and  in  spite  of  all  precautions,  it  was  not  possible  to  keep 
an  instrument  charged  for  any  length  of  time  without  some  loss.  As 
it  was  necessary  for  their  observations  that  they  should  be  able  to 
have  entire  confidence  in  their  tools,  they  tested  their  instruments  by 
leaving  them  charged  for  some  time  in  vacua.  There  being  then  no 
loss  of  charge,  there  was  evidently  no  leakage  through  insufficient 
insulation  of  the  supports  in  the  instruments  themselves,  and  the  loss 
could  only  be  due  to  a  certain  slight  conductibility  of  atmospheric 
air,  for  which  they  could  not  account.  It  was  known  that  air  can  be 
ionised  by  ultra-violet  light,  and  they  were  inclined  at  first  to  attribute 
the  conductibility  to  ionisation  of  the  atmosphere  by  ultra-violet  sun- 
light. But  when,  in  order  to  test  this  supposition,  they  conducted 


1904  INVISIBLE   RADIATIONS  93 

experiments  in  the  air  of  caves  and  cellars,  they  found  that  the  con- 
ductibility,  instead  of  being  less  than  in  air  exposed  to  sunlight,  was, 
on  the  contrary,  very  much  greater.  While  they  were  still  searching 
for  the  cause  of  the  ionisation,  which  was  evidently  not  due  to  sun- 
light— and,  indeed,  the  rays  which  cause  ionisation  are  largely  absorbed 
in  the  upper  regions  of  the  atmosphere — progress  was  being  made  in 
the  study  of  radio-activity.  Almost  simultaneously,  hi  1899,  Ruther- 
ford discovered  with  compounds  of  thorium,  and  Curie  with  com- 
pounds of  radium,  that,  in  addition  to  the  radiations,  these  elements 
emit  something  else.  This  something  else,  to  which  Rutherford  gave 
the  name  emanation,  cannot  be  weighed,  gives  no  clearly  distinctive 
lines  when  examined  spectroscopically,  has  none  of  the  mechanical 
properties  of  a  gas,  does  not  act  chemically  in  any  way  we  can  detect, 
and,  indeed,  yields,  so  to  speak,  no  evidence  whatever  for  its  exist- 
ence, save  that  where  it  passes  or  where  it  settles,  there  it  gives  rise 
to  radio-activity.  Any  substance  whatever  which  is  left  for  some 
time  in  the  vicinity  of  the  radio-active  salt  becomes  itself  temporarily 
radio-active.  The  emanation  diffuses  throughout  an  enclosed  space 
as  a  gas  would  diffuse,  only,  apparently,  it  passes  through  very  narrow 
openings  with  more  ease ;  it  is  checked  by  everything  that  checks  a 
gas ;  it  can,  like  a  gas,  be  pumped  or  blown  out  of  a  vessel ;  it  dis- 
appears at  the  temperature  of  liquid  air,  and  reappears  when  the 
temperature  is  raised ;  its  absence  or  presence  being  in  every  case 
manifested  by  the  absence  or  presence  of  the  induced  radio-activity. 
This  induced  radio-activity  can  be  measured  in  the  usual  way — 
namely,  by  the  extent  to  which  it  renders  air  conductive ;  and  it 
has  been  found  that  when  radium  emanation  is  left  in  a  closed  vessel 
without  the  radium  salt  which  has  given  rise  to  it,  this  definite  amount, 
whatever  it  may  be,  diminishes  by  half  in  four  days.  If,  however, 
the  vessel  be  open  to  the  air,  then  the  emanation  diminishes  by  half 
in  twenty-eight  minutes.  With  actinium,  which  is  very  active 
thorium,  the  emanation  diminishes  by  half  in  a  closed  vessel  in  three 
seconds.  Constants  of  time  such  as  these  may  serve  to  determine 
the  nature  of  a  radio-active  substance,  when  it  is  found  in  quantities 
too  small  for  any  chemical  test  to  be  of  the  slightest  avail. 

The  connection  between  the  emanation  and  the  radiations  is  as 
yet  a  matter  for  more  or  less  plausible  conjecture.  The  emanation 
disappears — that  is  to  say,  it  becomes  lost  to  our  means  of  detection — 
and  in  disappearing  it  gives  rise  to  radiations.  Becquerel  considers 
it  best  to  look  upon  the  emanation  as  the  primary  phenomenon,  and 
to  suppose  that  the  radiations  are  always  due  to  the  break-up  of 
emanation,  whether  that  emanation  be  entangled,  so  to  speak,  in  the 
pores  of  the  substance  itself,  or  whether  it  has  diffused  away  from 
the  substance  and  settled  elsewhere.  There  is,  however,  no  evidence 
for  this  explanation  or  for  any  other. 

What  we  do  know  for  certain  is  that  the  emanation  is  attracted  by 


94  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

negatively  charged  metal,  and  that  it  can  thus  be  collected  and  con- 
centrated.   After  this  discovery,  which  was  made  as  soon  as  the 
emanation  itself  was  detected,  Elster  and  Geitel  conducted  experi- 
ments to  determine  whether  the  ionisation  of  the  atmosphere  might 
be  due  to  radio-activity.    They  fixed  a  cylinder,  formed  of  thirty 
metres  of  wire,  in  the  open  air,  and  kept  it  negatively  charged  to  a 
high  potential.     They  found  that  if  they  rubbed  the  wire  every  few 
hours  with  a  tiny  bit  of  leather  steeped  in  ammonia  or  in  hydrochloric 
acid,  the  leather  became  radio-active,  and  that  when  they  burnt  the 
leather  the  ash  was  radio-active.     By  thus  concentrating  on  a  small 
surface  the  emanation  collected  on  the  whole  cylinder  during  many 
hours,  they  were  able  to  obtain,  not  only  the  ionisation  effect,  but 
also  the  photographic  effect,  for  which  much  stronger  radio-activity 
is  required.    It  soon  became  evident  that  the  atmosphere  every- 
where and  always  contains  radio-active  emanation,  more  or  less,  and 
the  next  question  was :  Whence  does  that  emanation  arise  ?     Care- 
fully conducted  experiments  proved  that  it  is  not  due  to  any  con- 
stituent of  the  air  itself ;  it  arises  from  the  earth.    Air  taken  from  the 
soil  may  contain  so  much  emanation  that,  if  properly  concentrated,  it 
will  even  yield  the  phosphorescent  effect.    Water  which  has  passed 
through  the  earth  contains  emanation  in  solution.     This  is  especially 
the  case  with  mineral  waters,  and  it  has  been  suggested  that  the 
curative  properties  may,  in  certain  cases,  be  partly  due  to  the  radio- 
activity ;  if  so,  that  would  explain  the  puzzling  fact  that  some  waters  lose 
their  virtue  when  removed  from  their  source,  since,  however  carefully  the 
vessel  was  closed,  the  emanation  would  nevertheless  disappear.  Whence 
this  universally  diffused  emanation  arises  is  not  yet  known  ;  researches 
to  determine  the  substances  which  produce  it  are  being  carried  on  now. 
The  amount  of  matter  in  question  is  so  infinitesimal  that  experi- 
menters have  not  yet  been  able  to  detect  any  loss  of  weight  in  their 
radio-active  salts  to  account  for  the  unceasingly  emitted  emanation. 
This  is,  however,  not  so  strange  as  it  may  sound  at  first,  for  it  is  paral- 
leled by  facts  with  which  we  are  perfectly  familiar.    Scent,  which  is  on 
good  grounds  believed  to  be  a  material  emanation,  is  not  necessarily 
accompanied  by  loss  of  weight,  not  even  when  it  is  as  strongly  marked 
as  in  the  case  of  musk.    The  fact  is  that  where  our  senses  do  give  us 
direct  evidence  they  may  be  far  more  sensitive  than  any  indirect 
means   we    can    devise.      Thus   we  know  of   the    existence    of    a 
multitude  of  emanations  by  no  other  test  than  our  sense  of  smell. 
Where,  on  the  other  hand,  our  senses  fail  us,  there  we  may  remain 
in  total  ignorance  until  we  learn  in  some  indirect  way.     The  most 
striking  example  of  this  self-evident,  though  too  often  forgotten,  fact 
is  furnished  by  electricity.     We  are  in  the  position  as  regards  electricity 
of  a  deaf  man,  who  only  knows  that  there  is  sound  when  he  sees  motion 
or  feels  vibration ;  for  it  is  only  indirectly  that  we  can  perceive  it, 
seeing  that  we  lack  an  electric  sense.    Yet,  step  by  step,  by  indirect 


1904  INVISIBLE   BADIATIONS  95 

means,  we  have  learnt  that  electricity  is  the  most  universal  of  agents, 
and  now  we  are  learning,  also  by  indirect  means,  of  the  existence  in 
nature  of  hitherto  unsuspected  subtle  emanations,  electrically  charged 
radiations,  and  radiations  to  which  no  substance  is  opaque. 

The  most  plausible  hypothesis  respecting  the  radiations  of  the 
X-rays  type  is  probably  that  which  was  formulated  by  Stokes — namely, 
that  they  are  ethereal  vibrations  which  differ  from  light  as  noise 
differs  from  music ;  that  is  to  say,  that  they  do  not  belong  to  that 
series  of  rays  produced  by  continuous  rhythmic  vibrations,  which 
includes  light,  radiant  heat,  and  the  electro-magnetic  waves  which 
are  utilised  in  wireless  telegraphy,  but  that  they  are  irregular  pulses 
in  the  ether.  In  the  case  of  the  Rontgen  rays,  the  pulses  would  be 
produced  by  the  impact  of  the  cathode  rays  upon  the  surfaces  which 
check  them ;  in  the  case  of  the  7-rays,  by  the  ethereal  commotion 
caused  by  the  emission  of  the  charged  radiations.  In  1902,  Blondlot 
noticed  that  if  Rontgen  rays  fell  upon  a  small  electric  spark  they 
somewhat  increased  the  brightness  of  that  spark,  and  he  thought  to 
utilise  this  effect  in  an  elaborately  devised  experiment  for  obtaining 
the  velocity  of  the  Rontgen  rays.  The  velocity  he  found  by  this 
means  was  equal  to  that  of  light,  and  this  seemed  an  important  step 
towards  knowledge  of  their  nature.  As  he  proceeded  in  his  experi- 
mental work,  however,  he  noticed  that  the  rays  which  affect  the 
spark  were  polarised,  and  that  these  polarised  rays  could  be  refracted 
by  passing  them  through  crystals.  But  it  is  abundantly  evident  that 
X-rays  cannot  be  refracted,  and  therefore  Blondlot  perceived  that 
there  must  be  some  mistake  in  the  conclusions  at  which  he  had  arrived. 
A  simple  test  experiment  made  the  matter  perfectly  clear.  He  inter- 
posed a  prism  of  aluminium  between  the  source  of  the  X-rays  and  the 
spark,  by  the  appearance  of  which  he  had  thought  to  detect  their 
influence,  choosing  aluminium  because  it  is  a  substance  which  is 
transparent  to  X-rays  and  opaque  to  visible  light.  The  X-rays 
passed  undeviated  through  the  prism,  and  produced  no  effect  what- 
ever on  the  spark.  When,  however,  the  spark  was  shifted  into  a 
position  in  which  it  was  struck  by  rays  which  were  deviated  by  the 
prism,  then  the  former  effect  was  perceived.  Thus  Blondlot  saw  that 
he  had  not  succeeded  in  measuring  the  velocity  of  the  Rontgen  rays, 
but  that  he  had  discovered,  mixed  with  them,  some  extremely 
penetrating  rays  which  had  the  physical  properties  of  ordinary  light. 

Further  study  has  made  him  feel  certain  that  these  N-rays,  as  he 
calls  them,  do  belong  to  the  same  category  as  light.  They  produce 
none  of  those  photographic  or  phosphorescent  effects  which  have 
so  greatly  aided  the  study  of  the  Becquerel  rays,  and  the  only  charac- 
teristic by  which  they  can  be  recognised  is  that  they  cause  a  change 
in  the  luminosity  of  pre-existent  phosphorescence,  or  of  any  feeble 
light  or  feebly  illuminated  surface — a  change  which  it  requires  some 
practice  to  be  able  to  appreciate,  and  which  is  not  visible  to  every 
observer  even  then.  On  this  account  Blondlot's  conclusions  are  not 


96  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  July 

yet  universally  accepted.  One  objective  proof  of  the  correctness  of 
his  observations  has,  however,  been  furnished.  If  a  small  electric 
spark  is  caused  to  produce  a  photograph  of  itself — all  necessary  pre- 
cautions being  taken  to  avoid  error — the  difference  that  it  makes  in 
the  photographic  appearance  of  the  spark,  whether  it  is  being  acted 
upon  by  N-rays  or  not,  is  marked  and  unmistakable. 

Blondlot  has  measured  the  wave-length  of  the  N-rays  by  methods 
similar  to  those  employed  for  ordinary  light.  As  a  source  of  the 
rays  he  uses  a  Nernst  lamp,  enclosed  in  a  dark  lantern,  with  a  window 
of  aluminium,  thus  effectually  cutting  off  all  luminous  rays.  In 
front  of  the  window  there  is  a  screen,  formed  of  layers  of  aluminium 
and  black  paper,  to  cut  off  all  the  heat  rays  which  proceed  from  the 
metal.  This  precaution  is  especially  necessary  in  all  these  experi- 
ments, seeing  that  phosphorescence  is  so  extremely  sensitive  to  heat. 
Since  N-rays  do  not  pass  through  water,  if  it  is  pure — though  they  do 
pass  through  salt  water,  as  well  as  through  aluminium,  wood,  and 
many  other  substances — a  screen  of  wet  cardboard  in  which  there  is 
a  narrow  slit  permits  of  the  isolation  of  a  beam,  which  can  be  focussed 
and  dispersed  by  lenses  and  prisms  of  aluminium.  Like  the  visible 
rays,  the  N-rays  are  heterogeneous  ;  the  wave-lengths  that  have  been 
measured  vary,  but  they  are  all  at  least  a  hundred  times  smaller 
than  that  of  the  furthest  ultra-violet  rays  that  had  been  hitherto 
known — rays  which  do  not  reach  us  from  the  sun  at  all,  since  they  are 
entirely  absorbed  by  the  atmosphere,  and  which,  when  obtained  from 
the  electric  light,  must  be  measured  in  vacuo,  for  a  very  little  air 
is  as  opaque  to  them  as  if  the  air  were  lead.  Yet  the  N-rays,  which 
lie  so  very  much  further  beyond  the  violet  end  of  the  spectrum,  are 
largely  contained  in  sunlight,  thus  proving  that  they  lie  outside  the 
limit  of  the  radiations  which  the  air  cuts  off.  N-rays  are  absorbed 
by  many  substances,  and  then  afterwards  emitted ;  whether  changed 
or  not  in  character  we  cannot  yet  tell,  but  in  any  case  there  is  here  a 
close  and  important  analogy  with  phosphorescence. 

The  point,  however,  which  is  perhaps  of  the  most  general  interest 
with  respect  to  these  researches  is  this.  There  seems  to  be  clear 
evidence  already  that  there  are  other  radiations  besides  those  the 
wave-length  of  which  has  been  determined,  which  are  being  discovered 
by  means  of  this  new  test.  Some  of  these  may  belong  to  a  totally 
different  part  of  the  long  series  of  ethereal  vibrations  which  reach  us 
from  the  sun,  while  others  may  be  of  an  entirely  different  order.  For 
the  present  all  the  radiations,  which  had  not  hitherto  been  detected, 
and  which  produce  the  same  effects  as  the  rays  which  Blondlot  noticed 
at  first,  are  grouped  together  as  N-rays  ;  but  there  are  physicists  who 
believe  that  further  study  will  enable  important  distinctions  to  be 
made,  and  that  with  respect  to  this  whole  subject  of  invisible 
radiation,  in  the  widest  acceptation  of  that  term,  we  are  only  on  the 
threshold  of  discovery. 

ANTONIA  ZIMMEBN. 


1904 


MEDICATED    AIR 

A   SUGGESTION 


WE  cannot  change  our  climate.  Is  it  not  possible  to  greatly  ameliorate 
the  part  it  plays  in  two  propositions  of  grave  national  importance  ? 
These  are — 

(1)  That  the  climate  of  these  islands  is  in  the  main  favourable  to 
the  development  of  certain  diseases  widely  prevalent  within  its  range, 
and  adding  great  numbers  to  our  yearly  death-roll. 

(2)  That  the  atmospheric  conditions  of  the  life  of  the  poor  in 
London  and  other  great  cities  are  not,  and  probably  never  will  be, 
favourable  to  the  healthy  development  of  the  race. 

As  air  is  the  first  of  our  vital  needs,  so  what  may  be  called 
*  atmospheric  hygiene  '  is  the  first  force  by  which  both  these  dangers 
should  be  met.  It  has  been  the  last  to  attract  the  attention  of  the 
public  or  to  engage  the  resources  of  science.  It  is  true  that  public 
faith,  so  long  fastened  on  the  medicine  bottle,  has  been  in  some 
measure  diverted  to  Open  Air  as  a  curative  formula ;  and  that 
sanitary  science,  not  confined  to  drains,  to  food,  and  to  water,  has 
included  in  its  purview  questions  of  ventilation  and  cubic  air  space 
per  individual.  It  is  with  the  first  subject,  which  in  many  of  its 
aspects  includes  the  second,  that  this  article  is  mainly  concerned. 

The  gospel  of  Open  Air  has  been  widely  preached,  and  has  made 
many  converts  ;  large  funds  have  been  generously  provided  for  putting 
the  doctrine  into  practice,  and  an  ample  measure  of  success  has 
already  been  achieved.  Do  not  these  facts  justify  the  hope  that 
when  the  real  nature  of  the  question  at  issue  is  understood,  and 
its  vast  potentialities  are  revealed  by  closer  examination,  neither 
science  nor  philanthropy  will  be  satisfied  to  stop  at  the  threshold  of 
progress  ? 

Quantity  has  been  the  chief  guide  hitherto  in  the  application  of 
air,  whether  to  disease  or  to  overcrowded  habitations.  But  the 
quality  of  the  air,  its  condition,  its  properties,  its  intricate  composition ; 
the  bearing  of  these  on  the  special  requirements  of  different  com- 
plaints ;  the  suggested  possibility  of  assimilating  the  air  of  our  climate 
to  that  of  other  climates  known  to  be  beneficial  to  particular  diseases,  so 
converting  it  into  a  curative  agent  before  it  is  breathed  by  the  patient — 

VOL.  LVI— No.  329  97  H 


98  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

these  offer  a  vast  field  of  investigation,  and  perhaps  a  rich  harvest  of 
relief  to  a  multitude  of  sufferers.  Few  and  shallow  as  yet  are  the 
furrows  which  science  and  medicine,  working  hand  in  hand,  have 
driven  in  that  great  field.  In  another  country  a  munificent  endow- 
ment has  been  given  by  a  patriotic  citizen  for  a  systematic  investiga- 
tion of  the  nature  and  treatment  of  consumption.1  But  consumption 
is  only  one  of  the  diseases  which  come  within  the  scope  of  treated  air. 
Already,  happily,  the  first  experiment  in  this  greater  subject  has 
been  tried,  the  first  results  achieved  and  demonstrated,  in  England — 
in  London.  If  we  stand  still,  and  the  organised  investigations  of 
American  science  and  medicine  should  in  the  end  point  to  this  as  the 
true  line  of  progress,  what  will  then  remain  to  be  said  of  us  here  in 
England  ?  That,  shutting  our  eyes  to  the  light,  we  were  content  to 
lag  behind,  to  follow  only  where  others  led  the  way,  and  to  leave  the 
credit  of  a  great  achievement  to  a  more  enterprising  and  more  generous 
nation. 

The  necessity  of  the  case  arises  from  two  causes,  the  one  natural, 
the  other  artificial  but  permanent ;  for  the  conditions  of  our  popula- 
tion as  to  residence  are  not  less  fixed  than  those  of  our  climate. 

Our  climate  is  not  all  bad.  It  is  a  question  whether  on  the  whole  any 
other  could  have  been  of  greater  advantage.   We  are  still  surprised  at 
times  at  its  behaviour,  as  though  not  yet  perfectly  familiar  with  it.    But 
as  a  fact  we  are  acclimatised,  not  perhaps  in  the  sense  of  our  trees  and 
vegetation,   or  of  some  extinct  race    of   aborigines  for  whom  the 
climate  was  made  and  who  were  made  for  the  climate.    We  are  not 
grown  in  it  as  a  race  ;  but  after  some  centuries  of  habitation  we  have 
grown  to  it.     The  asperities  of  the  British  climate  did  not  drive  our 
imperial  conquerors  from  their  cherished  Ultima  Thule  ;  and  succes- 
sive  races    of  invaders  have    held    it   dear.     Indeed,    they    have 
thriven  and  prospered,  enduring  climatic  hardship  to  a  good  purpose, 
it  would   seem.     Some    enthusiasts   hold   that   it   is    the    best   of 
climates.    It  has  promoted  open-air  life  and  sport;  and  it  was  in 
England  that  the  Open  Air  treatment  was  first  preached  by  Bodington, 
and  in  Ireland  by  MacCormac,  long  before  the  crusade  against  con- 
sumption.   Undeniably  it  has  kept  us  a  strong  race.     '  Physical 
deterioration,'  which  is  under  investigation  by  a  Royal  Commission, 
is  really  due  not  to  the  operation  of  climatic  influences,  but   to 
their  partial  suspension  by  artificial  conditions  of  life.    Nor  is  our 
climate  devoid  of  moral  effect  in  the  formation  of  the  national  quality 
of  patience.     '  Temperate,'  in  a  technical  sense,  its  merciless  varia- 
bility is  a  mental  as  well  as  physical  discipline.     It  is  a  '  universal 
exerciser '  not  only  for  the  body  but  the  mind,  preparing  us  to  sur- 

1  The  Henry  Phipps  Institute,  at  Philadelphia ;  an  admirable  instance  of  the 
endowment  of  a  fully-equipped  institute  for  the  progressive  study  of  the  prevention 
and  cure  of  a  single  disease,  until  that  disease  shall  be  rendered  preventable  and 
curable. 


1904  MEDICATED  AIR  99 

mount  obstacles  and  endure  disappointments  which  we  cannot  foresee, 
and  stimulating  us_like  the  rigid  alternations  of  the  hot  and  cold 
water  douche. 

It  is  not,  however,  with  the  virtues  but  the  shortcomings  of  our 
climate  that  we  are  now  concerned.  Good  as  it  is  for  health,  it  is  also 
good  for  the  prevalence  and  development  of  some  of  our  diseases — so 
good,  in  fact,  that  we  may  classify  them  for  the  present  purpose  as 
climatic  diseases.  We  have  got  rid  of  ague ;  not,  it  is  significant  to 
note,  by  treating  the  complaint,  but  by  treating  its  cause.  Land 
drainage  would  banish  ague  even  from  the  swamps  of  Africa.  But 
consumption,  with  its  insidious  approach,  its  long  delay,  its  fatal  end  ; 
rheumatism,  reading  heart  disease  for  so  many ;  kidney  disease,  in  its 
chronic  form ;  bronchial  diseases,  lightly  termed  '  affections ' ;  gout, 
with  its  evil  connections — for  all  these  the  best  cure  is  climate  of 
another  kind. 

Thousands  of  fortunate  people  pursue  that  cure,  on  the  Riviera, 
at  Davos,  in  Colorado,  Mexico,  and  many  other  places  too  numerous 
to  mention,  where  special  virtues  have  been  found  in  the  climate. 
Yet  there  remain  hundreds  of  thousands,  the  vast  majority  of  the 
sufferers,  whose  means  do  not  and  never  will  enable  them  to  leave 
this  country,  who  are  thrown  back  ceaselessly  on  its  climatic  dis- 
advantages, and  compelled  to  carry  on  a  long  and  often  hopeless 
struggle  with  a  natural  and  native  foe.  Their  helplessness  appeals 
to  us,  and  should  not  appeal  in  vain  if,  as  we  believe,  a  great 
measure  of  emancipation  is  consistent  with  economic  conditions  that 
cannot  be  altered. 

It  is  the  story  of  Mahomet  and  the  mountain.  If  the  patient 
cannot  visit  other  climates,  the  air  of  other  climates  should  be  brought 
to  the  patient.  The  elemental  forces  in  the  air  of  those  climates 
which  make  for  cure  exist  in  part  in  ours,  but  Nature  has  made  them 
subordinate  to  other  and  less  favourable  forces  ;  science  may  suppress 
these  and  bring  forward  those.  If  they  do  not  exist,  science  may 
some  day  produce  them.  Then  to  some  extent  in  any  building, 
however  large,  more  completely  in  an  enclosed  cubic  space,  the  patient 
would  be  enabled  to  breathe  air  which  by  scientific  treatment  had 
been  assimilated  in  its  essential  properties  to  the  air  of  health  resorts 
thousands  of  miles  distant  from  England. 

This  proposition,  startling  as  it  may  sound,  is  already  passing  out 
of  the  stage  of  theory.  At  an  institution 2  known  for  its  successful 
treatment  of  wounds,  ulcers,  and  lupus  by  oxygen  and  ozone, 
a  significant  example  has  been  given  by  the  erection  of  enclosed 
cubicles,  in  which  consumptive  patients  breathe  treated  air,  and 
are  subjected  to  conditions  analogous  to  those  which  cure  consump- 
tion at  places  like  Davos  or  Tenerife.  We  learn  that  encouraging 

2  The  Oxygen  Hospital,  Fitzroy  Square,  under  the  patronage  of  H.E.H.  Princess 
Louise,  Duohess  of  Argyll. 

H  2 


100  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUBY  July 

results  have  been  observed,  such  as  the  reduction  of  temperature, 
the  disappearance  of  tubercle  bacilli,  the  relief  of  cough,  and  the 
increase  of  weight.  This  is  mentioned  as  an  illustration,  and  because 
it  is  only  fair  not  to  overlook  any  credit  attaching  to  a  first  experi- 
ment. Its  originator  would  probably  be  the  last  to  claim  that  in  its 
present  stage  it  contains  more  than  the  germ  of  a  great  movement. 

Let  us  examine  very  briefly  the  possibilities  that  lie  within  the 
range  of  a  more  complete  and  organised  development  of  this  great 
reserve  of  our  natural  resources.  The  cure  of  consumption  is  among 
the  hardest  of  our  tasks,  and  more  than  we  could  venture  to  hope  for 
as  a  result  of  any  one  system  of  treatment.  But  it  is  less  difficult 
to  realise  the  protection  that  might  be  afforded  against  rheumatism, 
heart  disease,  and  kidney  disease  by  mitigating  certain  properties  in 
the  atmosphere  that  surrounds  the  patient.  If  treated  air  should 
prove,  with  the  co-operation  of  other  hygienic  factors,  of  great  value  in 
these  and  other  ailments,  it  would  solve  the  economic  or  social  difficulty 
inseparable  from  a  population  like  ours,  of  which  only  a  small  per- 
centage of  sufferers  can  visit  other  climates.  It  would  meet  another 
difficulty  which  attends  the  Open  Air  treatment  at  home.  It  is 
applicable  to  London  and  other  great  towns,  where  the  great  majority 
of  the  sick  cannot,  for  want  of  means,  be  sent  to  open  air  sanatoria  in 
the  country.  As  a  form  of  treatment  it  could  find  its  domicile  in 
every  town  hospital.  It  would  not  remove  the  patient  from  the 
centre  of  science  and  medicine,  but  would  place  the  best  resources 
of  these  at  his  disposal,  and  enrich  and  develop  them  by  the  oppor- 
tunities afforded  for  observation  and  study. 

Mention  has  already  been  made  of  the  variety  of  diseases,  widely 
prevalent  in  this  country,  which  might  be  brought  within  the  range 
of  a  systematic  investigation  of  the  possibilities  of  treated  air.  When 
we  consider  how  numerous  and  diverse  those  possibilities  are,  we  are 
justified  in  saying  that  at  present  little  is  known  and  little  has  been 
done  in  this  direction,  and  in  asking  if  we  can  calmly  contemplate  a 
continuance  of  our  inactivity  and  ignorance.  We  have  purified 
water  ;  distilled,  aerated,  and  medicated  it.  We  use  it  for  purposes 
of  cure  in  every  variety  that  nature  can  provide  or  science  can 
apply.  What  has  been  done  for  air,  beyond  mechanical  ventilation, 
modifying  or  increasing  the  abundance  of  its  supply  without  any 
improvement  in  its  quality  ?  Compressed  air  and  rarefied  air  have 
been  used.  Establishments  exist  for  the  inhalation  of  steam  and 
medicinal  vapours.  Oxygen,  too,  has  been  summoned  to  the  aid  of 
the  sick.  But  these  have  been  casual  expedients  of  the  nature  of 
'  sittings.'  Nowhere,  save  in  the  instance  already  mentioned,  have 
the  means  been  provided  of  continuous  application  by  enabling  the 
patient  to  live  for  a  given  time  in  treated  air. 

The  main  constituents  and  the  main  qualities  of  air  are  well  known. 
Its  finer  constituents  and  qualities  are  only  now  gaining  recognition. 


1904  MEDICATED  A  IB  101 

The  temperature,  the  moisture,  and  the  pressure  of  the  atmosphere  have 
already  been  submitted  to  control ;  and  it  might  even  now  be  possible 
to  provide  within  a  limited  cubic  space  a  succession  of  artificial  atmo- 
spheres differing  in  their  value  for  purposes  of  treatment.  But  the 
finer  characters  of  natural  climates — for  instance,  their  tonic  or  their 
relaxing  quality — are  not  wholly  to  be  explained  on  so  simple  a  basis. 
As  the  proportion  of  oxygen,  nitrogen,  and  carbonic  acid  is  known 
to  show  hardly  any  local  variations,  these  subtle  climatic  properties 
possibly  depend  upon  the  more  variable  influence  of  light,  of  elec- 
tricity, of  magnetism,  and  of  the  latest  of  our  additions  to  the  attri- 
butes of  air,  radio-activity.  The  recent  observations  made  in  Switzer- 
land that  the  air  at  a  moderate  altitude  is  several  times  more  radio- 
active than  in  the  valley  favour  the  hope  that  a  future  elucidation  of 
the  mysteries  of  climate  may  result  from  a  study  of  the  physical 
agents  already  known  to  us,  and  of  others  yet  to  be  discovered. 

Is  it  not  clear  from  this  brief  survey  that  the  field  of  investiga- 
tion before  us  is  vast  and  varied,  and  that  the  treatment  of  air  may 
become  at  least  as  important  as  the  Open  Air  treatment  ?  The  two 
subjects  are  closely  connected,  and  it  is  a  question  whether 
the  Open  Air  treatment,  in  this  country  at  least,  can  have  the  fair 
trial  its  great  possibilities  demand,  without  being  complemented  by 
an  efficient  control  of  the  condition  of  the  air  itself.  Extremes  of  cold 
or  heat,  of  damp  or  dryness,  mists  and  fogs,  constant  changes  of  wind, 
cannot  be  regarded  as  a  helpful  part  of  the  treatment,  and  need  to  be 
eliminated.  The  relative  quality  of  local  climates  is  another  important 
consideration.  Above  all,  it  must  not  be  forgotten  that  the  suitability 
of  the  climate  is  an  individual  question.  It  is  well  known  that  even 
Davos  does  not  suit  all  cases  of  consumption,  and  the  best  of  health 
resorts  would  be  the  better  for  facilities  for  modifying  its  local  atmo- 
sphere to  meet  individual  indications. 

No  inquiry  into  this  matter  can  fail  to  open  up  an  important 
question  affecting  the  construction  both  of  our  sanatoria  and  our 
town  hospitals.  In  the  former  provision  for  suitable  air  is  not  a  care 
of  the  future,  but  of  the  present.  Sanatoria  must  live  up  to  their 
name.  With  cure  as  their  object  they  must  follow  every  advance, 
if  they  cannot  lead  it,  and  provide  for  each  condition  the  best  air  that 
science  can  produce.  Have  they  been  planned  with  this  progressive 
end  in  view  ? 

The  suitability  of  our  older  hospitals  for  the  Open  Air  method, 
including  all  the  improvements  in  it  which  are  within  sight,  is  another 
anxious  matter.  From  this  aspect  alone,  irrespective  of  any  new 
departure  which  further  discoveries  may  at  any  time  force  upon  us,  there 
is  a  certain  responsibility  in  planning  monumental  hospitals  of  a  dura- 
bility '  worthy  of  the  Romans  '  instead  of  lighter  buildings  not  intended 
to  survive  so  long  their  inevitable  obsolescence.  Within  the  near 
future  our  ideas  as  to  the  internal  distribution  of  space  and  of  wards 


102  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

may  undergo  modification  in  connection  with  the  necessity  for  ex- 
tending an  improved  application  of  the  Open  Air  principle,  and  of 
supplying  not  damaging  but  healing  air.  Have  our  hospitals  been 
designed  to  include  this  purpose  ? 

To  elucidate  all  these  problems  and  satisfy  their  requirements, 
prolonged  and  systematic  investigation  and  patient  observations 
are  necessary.  The  result  may  bring  us  to  the  strange  conclusion 
that  after  all  the  best  treatment  for  our  climatic  diseases  is  the  only 
one  possible  to  the  vast  majority  of  those  who  suffer  from  them,  to 
stay  at  home ;  and  the  best  sanatorium  one  where  every  facility  for 
aerotherapy  may  in  the  future  be  obtainable. 

If,  by  sufficient  study,  we  could  ultimately  learn  to  treat  the  air 
so  as  to  fairly  reproduce  for  practical  purposes  of  treatment  the 
virtues  of  various  climates,  a  great  advance  would  have  been  made. 
And,  besides  imitating  climates  artificially,  we  might  in  the  future  be 
able  to  create  climates  to  suit  the  individual  requirement  just  as  we 
regulate  the  dose  of  medicine  or  of  electricity,  by  varying  the  supply 
of  the  normal  constituents  and  qualities  of  air  and  by  adding  bene- 
ficial agents.  To  analyse  the  factors  in  the  air  of  a  climate  might 
enable  us  to  compound  it  as  we  compound  a  chemical  body.  That 
this  treatment  of  the  atmosphere  is  a  practical  possibility  is  becoming 
known  to  men  of  science ;  that  it  is  worth  doing  will  be  obvious  to 
physicians  ;  that  it  is  being  tried  has  already  been  shown.  How  soon 
it  shall  be  tried  on  an  adequate  scale  is  a  question  for  the  nation. 
The  range  of  investigation  which  in  the  future  is  open  to  us  in  this 
direction  is  boundless. 

It  remains  to  suggest  and,  not  without  hesitation,  to  formulate  a 
scheme  by  which  the  conclusions  arrived  at  might  be  embodied  in  a 
great  national  enterprise. 

It  is  strange  that  in  an  age  illuminated  by  its  discoveries  pure 
science  has  as  yet  done  so  little  for  health.  Though  we  may  not  be 
so  enthusiastic  as  Metchnikofi  about  prolonging  life,  still  we  may 
hope  for  some  improvement  if  we  know  how  to  earn  it.  Hitherto 
medicine  has  gleaned  rather  than  reaped  in  the  fields  of  science, 
or  has  caught  here  and  there  a  casual  seed  which  was  to  fructify 
under  its  own  care.  There  is  an  illimitable  harvest,  if  only  men  of 
pure  science  are  secured  as  practical  associates  in  our  work.  They 
are  the  explorers  fully  equipped.  Agents  of  progress  themselves, 
their  collaboration  with  its  other  agents  should  be  a  direct  one. 
A  new  organisation  is  needed,  in  which  pure  science  should  be  given 
the  place  it  alone  can  fill.  This  should  include  scientific  men  in 
working  combination  with  the  men  who  have  practical  experience  in 
the  actual  treatment  of  disease.  To  assist  the  cure  of  the  sick  and 
suffering  might  then  become  a  welcome  function  of  the  man  of 
science,  as  it  is  the  professional  duty  of  the  medical  man. 

The  practical  requisites  for  such  a  scheme  would  be — 


1904  MEDICATED  AIR  103 

1.  A  Hospital  for  the  treatment  of  disease  with  the  help  of  atmo- 
spheric as  well  as  other  agents  ;  not  necessarily  a  very  large  or  costly 
hospital,  for   special   construction   and   equipment  would   be    more 
important  than  size.     A  hospital  is  the  only  place  where  clinical  and 
therapeutical  methods  can  be  applied  with  systematic  thoroughness, 
so  that  the  results  can  be  identified  with  the  factors  of  treatment, 
and  the  knowledge  thus  gained  diffused  far  and  wide  with  authority. 

2.  An  Institute  for  the  study  of  atmospheric  hygiene  in  relation 
to  (a)  the  treatment  of  disease,  (&)  the  improvement  of  the  health  and 
strength  of  the  healthy.     The  institute  would  be  worked  in  connection 
with  the  hospital,  and  would  represent  on  a  large  scale  the  functions 
of  the  clinical  and  pathological  laboratories  attached  to  an  ordinary 
hospital-.    The  staff  of  the  institute  might  consist  of  (a)  a  consulta- 
tive board,  including,  in  addition  to  physicians  and  surgeons,  men 
eminent  in  each  branch  of  science :  physicists,  chemists,  physiolo- 
gists, electricians,  radiographers,  architects,  engineers,  and  others  ; 
(&)  a  smaller  group  of  experts  to  collaborate  with  the  medical  staff. 

Need  we  ask  what  would  be  gained  by  such  a  combination  ?  All 
problems  of  treatment  involving  chemistry  or  physics  would  be 
studied  and  worked  out  in  their  various  aspects,  including  the  practical 
side  of  finance,  by  the  highest  authorities  of  the  institute,  and,  if 
judged  practicable,  their  final  elaboration  carried  out  by  the  joint 
scientific  and  medical  staff  of  the  hospital.  In  this  way,  for  the  first 
time,  pure  science  would  be  handling  the  practical  work  of  healing. 

A  rSsume  of  these  ideas,  which  are  probably  novel  to  most,  may  be 
of  service  to  the  reader. 

No  new  cure  for  consumption  or  for  any  other  diseases  is  contained 
in  these  pages.  Their  object  is  to  reveal  the  extent  to  which  our 
knowledge  and  our  use  of  curative  agencies  available  in  a  promising 
direction  have  been  unnecessarily  delayed. 

Open  Air,  the  greatest  of  all  modern  advances  in  the  treatment  of 
consumption,  can  never  be  superseded ;  it  only  needs  to  be  improved 
and,  if  necessary,  supplemented.  Its  application  extends  far  beyond 
consumption.  But  our  open  air  does  not  always  suit  our  ehief 
ailments  so  well  as  open  air  elsewhere  at  selected  stations. 

The  advantage  of  climate  as  a  protection  or  as  a  cure  should  not 
remain  the  exclusive  privilege  of  the  few ;  some  equivalent  at  least 
should  be  provided  for  the  many. 

This  national  duty  is  specially  a  London  duty,  for  in  London, 
with  its  millions  of  breathers  of  used-up  air  and  with  its  miles  of 
contaminated  atmosphere,  it  is  combined  with  another  national  duty 
— that  of  stopping  the  deterioration  of  the  race,  and  of  providing  for 
the  healthy  development  of  the  young.  This  necessarily  involves 
as  a  first  essential  a  progressive  study  how  to  improve  the  air  we 
breathe  in  the  sick-room,  in  the  sleeping- room,  in  the  school-room, 
and  in  the  workshop. 


104  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUBY  July 

The  difficult  task  of  producing  special  atmospheres  for  the  pre- 
vention or  relief  of  some  of  our  climatic  diseases,  for  which  special 
climates  are  distinctly  beneficial,  is  beyond  the  unaided  powers  of 
medical  art.  It  could  not  be  successfully  attempted  without  a 
systematic  collaboration  between  the  representatives  of  pure  science 
and  practical  engineering  and  those  of  medicine.  This  calls  for  an 
institute  for  the  experimental  study  of  atmospheric  hygiene  in  all  its 
aspects,  combined  with  a  hospital  for  practical  observation  and  treat- 
ment, not  limited  to  any  one  system,  but  capable  of  readjustment  to 
every  future  advance.  Under  such  a  combination  problems  relating 
to  the  construction  and  plant  of  hospitals  and  sanatoria,  as  well  as 
those  of  medical  treatment,  which  have  not  hitherto  been  submitted 
conjointly  to  comparative  study,  would  be  continuously  worked  at, 
and  the  results  made  available  for  all  charitable  institutions  through- 
out the  land. 

Labour  and  delay  are  inseparable  from  the  attainment  of  practical 
results  in  the  treatment  of  disease,  and  still  more  in  connection  with 
atmospheric  hygiene  as  relating  to  the  ventilation  of  houses  and  towns. 
This  twofold  necessity  strengthens  the  claim  for  prompt  action.  For 
solid  clinical  results,  however,  we  may  not  have  to  wait  so  long.  A 
hospital  duly  equipped  would  from  the  first  be  fulfilling  an  urgent  work  of 
relief,  on  those  less  complicated  lines  which  have  already  been  found 
successful,  and  any  other  simple  lines  to  come.  To  generous  supporters 
of  the  scheme  this  would  be  an  immediate  reward.  It  would  encourage 
and  sustain  those  engaged  in  the  weary  work  of  research,  and  provide 
the  first  fruits  of  that  matured  and  systematic  co-operation  between 
medicine  and  science  for  which  this  article  is  an  earnest  appeal. 

WILLIAM  EWART. 


1904 


THE   POLITICAL    WOMAN  IN  AUSTRALIA 


UNDER  the  laws  of  most  countries  women  possess  no  legal  rights,  no 
political  freedom ;  they  do  enjoy  certain  privileges,  but  of  these  they 
may  be  deprived  at  any  moment  by  the  same  power  that  granted 
them — the  ballot  is  the  only  weapon  with  which  to  secure  and  retain 
legal  and  political  rights.  *  Advance  Australia '  is  our  national  motto, 
and  we  Australian  women  have  good  reason  to  glory  in  the  advance 
of  our  country,  which,  in  granting  women  absolute  political  equality 
with  men,  has  reached  a  position  unique  in  the  world's  history.  Philo- 
sophers, poets,  and  statesmen  have  rhapsodised  about  the  beauty 
and  the  blessing  of  representative  government,  but  few  have  pictured 
women  as  co-partners  in  such  a  form  of  government.  America  was 
the  birthplace  of  modern  democracy,  but  America  has  never  dreamt 
in  its  philosophy  of  applying  the  fundamental  principles  of  the  Declara- 
tion of  Independence  to  American  women.  No,  it  has  been  left  to 
the  newest  of  nations  to  admit  that  as  '  men  are  created  equal  .  .  . 
endowed  by  their  Creator  with  certain  inalienable  rights  ...  to  secure 
these  rights  governments  are  instituted,  deriving  their  just  powers 
from  the  consent  of  the  governed,'  so  shall  women  be  endowed  with 
the  rights  that  are  considered  the  just  due  of  sane,  law-abiding, 
naturalised  men. 

The  Australian  constitution  has  no  sex  limitations  whatever ; 
women  vote  on  equal  terms  with  men,  they  are  eligible  for  member- 
ship in  our  National  Parliament,  they  may  even  ascend  to  the  dignity 
of  office.  That  the  constitution  establishes  the  principle  of  no  sex  in 
politics  is  an  unparalleled  triumph  for  the  woman  suffrage  party, 
which  does  not  forget  to  give  honour  where  honour  is  due,  to  the  men 
of  Australia,  who  have  grown  so  far  in  democratic  sentiment  that  they 
can  tolerate  the  idea  of  living  with  political  equals,  an  idea  up  to 
which  John  Stuart  Mill  said  the  men  of  his  time  were  not  educated. 

It  says  a  great  deal  for  the  educative  value  of  the  vote  that  the 
prejudice  against  women  entering  Parliament  is  more  pronounced 
amongst  women  than  it  is  amongst  men.  It  took  about  twenty  years 
to  educate  the  women  of  Australia  up  to  the  point  of  asking  for  the 
franchise,  and  they  are  going  to  stick  there  for  some  time  before  they 
go  any  further.  Nothing  dies  so  hard  as  prejudice,  and  it  is  prejudice 

105 


106  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

alone  that  blinds  them  to  the  fact  that  it  is  necessary  and  desirable 
to  have  women  in  Parliament.  The  vote  in  itself  is  a  powerful  weapon 
for  good,  but  men,  as  the  result  of  years  of  experience,  have  discovered 
that  direct  parliamentary  representation  is  essential  if  full  effect  is 
to  be  given  to  the  vote :  they  know  that  the  entrance  of  women  into 
Parliament  is  the  natural  and  logical  outcome  of  the  minor  reform ; 
therefore,  they  do  not  view  with  such  horror,  as  do  many  women, 
the  prospect  of  seeing  women  within  the  sacred  precincts  of  Parlia- 
ment. Indeed,  it  is  because  the  sacredness  of  Parliament  is  such  a 
myth  that  so  many  public-spirited  men  desire  to  see  women  there. 
They  well  know  the  limitations  of  their  own  sex.  It  always  has  been 
the  '  privilege '  of  woman  to  tidy  up  after  man.  Man  seems  to  be 
constitutionally  unable  to  keep  things  tidy.  Take  the  daily  round, 
the  common  task — he  leaves  the  bathroom  in  a  state  of  flood,  his 
dressing-room  a  howling  wilderness  of  masculine  paraphernalia,  his 
office  a  chaos  of  ink  and  papers  ;  the  wonder  is  he  '  gets  there  '  so  well 
as  he  does.  Untidy  at  home,  untidy  in  business,  so  is  he  untidy  in 
the  nation ;  he  does  his  best,  but  as  he  does  not  understand  the  first 
principles  of  household  management,  he  gets  the  national  household 
into  a  terrible  state  of  muddle.  He  is  so  busy  looking  after  the  big 
things,  that  he  forgets  all  about  the  little  things  that  make  the  big 
things  a  success,  instead  of  a  failure.  And  so  the  women  have  to 
come  along  and  help  to  evolve  order  out  of  chaos ;  but  they  suffer  no 
illusions  as  to  the  magnitude  of  their  task.  The  work  of  tidying 
up  public  affairs  is  not  the  work  of  a  day,  nor  of  a  generation  ;  it  is 
primarily  a  matter  of  slow  education,  which  must  begin  in  the  home 
and  be  founded  on  an  ethical  basis.  Some  think  that,  if  women  do 
their  duty  in  their  homes,  nothing  further  is  required,  no  public  duty 
should  be  expected  of  them ;  but  women  cannot  train  their  sons  and 
daughters  in  the  varied,  complex,  and  sacred  duties  of  citizenship 
unless  they  possess  a  first-hand  knowledge  of  what  citizenship  means. 
Women  are  not  made  safe  advisers  of  their  children  by  being  kept 
ignorant  of  all  that  citizenship  involves.  Public  spirit  is  a  great 
need  of  the  age.  We  wonder  why  public  affairs  are  so  badly  managed  ; 
it  is  partly  because  those  who  conduct  them  have  been  trained  by 
women  who  had  no  conception  of  public  duty,  who  knew  not  the 
meaning  of  public  spirit,  who,  consequently,  could  not  be  expected 
to  equip  their  sons  properly  for  the  public  arena.  Give  women  the 
vote  and  you  prepare  the  way  for  a  new  order  of  things ;  by  giving 
women  political  power  you  give  them  an  incentive  to  study,  or  at 
least  to  interest  themselves  in  public  questions,  and  the  effect  of  their 
enlarged  interests  will  be  beneficial  both  to  home  and  State. 

The  political  incentive  is  now  the  possession  of  the  women  of 
Australia,  and  its  influence  was  a  potent  factor  in  the  recent  Federal 
elections.  The  women  of  South  Australia  and  West  Australia  have 
had  the  suffrage  for  some  years,  so  that  they  are  accustomed  to  voting, 


1904     THE  POLITICAL    WOMAN  IN  AUSTRALIA   107 

but  to  the  women  of  the  other  States  the  whole  business  was  new ; 
nevertheless,  they  voted  in  as  large  numbers  proportionally  as  the 
men  in  a  majority  of  the  constituencies,  while  in  some  they  cast  a 
heavier  vote  than  the  men.  The  total  vote  was  only  52  per  cent,  of 
the  voting  strength,  the  low  percentage  being  due  to  the  fact  that  the 
people  as  a  body  have  not  yet  grasped  the  Federal  idea.  Federation 
has  not  completely  scotched  provincialism  in  politics,  though  it  is 
fast  doing  so,  if  for  no  other  reason  than  the  enormous  cost  of  govern- 
ment in  this  country.  The  people  are  beginning  to  realise  that  we 
are  paying  the  political  piper  heavily — fourteen  Houses  of  Parliament 
and  seven  viceroyalties  for  four  millions  of  people  !  It  is  too  big  an 
order,  and  common  sense,  as  well  as  the  state  of  our  finances,  demands 
that  we  should  simplify  our  legislative  machinery.  It  is  right  here, 
as  the  Americans  say,  that  the  women's  influence  will  tell.  During 
the  election  campaign,  it  was  most  evident  that  a  very  large  section 
of  the  women  favoured  those  candidates  who  urged  economy  in  public 
expenditure.  Individual  women,  with  no  idea  of  the  value  of  money, 
may  be  extravagant,  but  most  women  are  compelled  by  circumstances 
to  be  economical  and  have  a  horror  of  wasteful  expenditure.  There- 
fore the  growing  demand  for  less  expensive  legislative  machinery  will 
find  devoted  adherents  amongst  the  women  voters.  As  a  candidate 
at  the  recent  elections,  I  attribute  to  a  great  degree  the  large  measure 
of  support  I  received  to  my  strong  advocacy  of  economy  in  administra- 
tion (by  the  abolition  of  the  State  Parliaments,  dividing  the  work 
now  done  by  them  between  the  Federal  Parliament  and  the  Municipal 
councils),  and  the  cessation  of  borrowing  except  for  reproductive 
works. 

'  Women  will  vote  as  their  menfolk  tell  them,'  was  an  argument  of 
the  anti-suffrage  party.  The  elections  proved  that,  on  the  whole,  the 
women  cast  an  independent  vote.  Of  course  they  frequently  voted 
as  their  menfolk  did,  not  because  they  allowed  themselves  to  be 
blindly  led  in  that  direction,  but  because  their  political  judgment 
decided  it  was  the  right  way.  We  know  that  men  often  vote  as  they 
are  told  to  vote  by  their  party,  or  by  the  particular  daily  paper  they 
make  their  guide,  philosopher,  and  friend.  Many  did  so  in  the  Federal 
elections,  swallowing  wholesale  the  selected  '  ticket,'  even  bringing  it 
to  the  booth  with  them,  so  that  they  could  not  by  any  chance  make 
a  mistake.  Several  returning  officers,  although  opposed  to  woman 
suffrage,  have  stated  that  the  women  were  not  guided  by  the  '  ticket ' 
to  anything  like  the  same  extent  as  the  men  were — at  any  rate,  if  they 
were,  they  more  effectively  concealed  the  fact  that  they  could  not  be 
trusted  to  vote  in  the  best  interests  of  their  country  unless  they  were 
told  how  to  by  an  outside  agent.  The  political  parties  and  the  daily 
papers  have  of  late  years  made  an  effort  to  introduce  the  '  ticket ' 
system  of  voting  into  Australian  politics,  in  spite  of  the  knowledge 
that  the  system  has  had  the  most  vicious  results  in  the  United  States  ; 


108  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

but  this  time  the  '  tickets '  got  fairly  well  broken  up,  an  encouraging 
sign  to  those  genuinely  patriotic  Australians  who  desire  to  see  the 
people  really  self-governing,  neither  press-ridden  nor  party-ridden. 
The  '  ticket '  system  is  utterly  repugnant  to  all  true  democratic 
principles.  Parliament  should  be  elected  by  the  people,  not  by  one 
man  or  any  small  coterie  of  men.  The  people's  '  ticket '  should  be 
the  candidates  who  head  the  poll. 

If  the  people  of  Australia  once  clearly  grasp  the  inevitable  and 
baneful  results  of  the  '  ticket '  system,  if  it  be  allowed  to  get  the  upper 
hand,  as  it  has  done  in  the  United  States,  then  we  shall  have  no  fear 
of  the  ultimate  result.  Bad  as  are  its  effects,  when  it  is  merely  an 
attempt  at  dictation,  it  is,  if  allowed  to  grow  and  become  absolute, 
a  thousand  times  worse  in  its  consequences  on  the  national  character 
and  the  purity  of  public  life.  Australia  will  not  be  able  to  plead 
ignorance,  for  there  is  the  terrible  example  of  what  the  '  ticket ' 
system  leads  to  in  the  present  condition  of  public  life  in  America.  No 
one  who  has  not  visited  America  and  studied  the  conditions  on  the 
spot  can  have  any  idea  of  how  corruption  has  eaten  into  every  phase  of 
public  life — a  corruption  which  is  to  be  clearly  traced  to  the  machine 
politics  and  '  tickets '  of  the  two  great  parties  there.  The  promoters 
of  great  companies,  the  founders  of  '  trusts,'  all  who  were  anxious  to 
build  up  gigantic  fortunes  by  the  unscrupulous  exploitation  of  their 
fellow-countrymen,  soon  recognised  the  power  that  lay  in  the  '  ticket ' 
system.  They  saw  that,  if  they  could  capture  the  caucuses  of  the 
parties,  they  would  have  the  whole  country  in  their  toils,  whenever 
their  own  party  was  successful.  They  had  no  desire  to  enter  the 
State  Legislature  or  Congress  themselves,  but  they  planned  that  the 
men  who  were  put  on  the  '  tickets '  should  be  their  delegates,  their 
creatures,  who  would  do  what  they  were  told,  and  they  planned 
successfully.  Millions  of  dollars  are  subscribed  to  the  party  funds, 
newspapers  are  bought,  bribes  are  scattered  with  lavish  hands,  for 
these  men  know  that  they  will  get  it  all  back,  with  compound  interest, 
when  they  can  manipulate  the  Legislature  at  their  will. 

Thoughtful  men  in  Australia  are  beginning  to  see  the  danger  and 
resent  the  tyranny  of  the  '  ticket '  system,  and  an  organised  movement 
against  it  will  certainly  be  supported  by  the  women.  In  fact,  the 
women  of  New  South  Wales  and  Victoria  have,  through  the  media 
of  their  most  influential  political  organisations,  already  officially 
declared  their  hostility  to  the  system,  and  at  the  next  Federal  elections 
we  may  hope  to  see  those  who  would  foist  '  machine '  politics  upon 
Australia  even  more  decisively  discomfited  than  they  were  in  December. 

'  Women  will  lose  the  chivalrous  attentions  of  men  if  they  are 
enfranchised  '  was  another  argument  of  the  distrustful  anti-suffragist. 
To  the  women  who  are  influenced  by  such  a  prophecy  of  man  falling 
from  his  high  estate  when  he  finds  woman  his  political  equal,  I  would 
say,  '  My  dear  friends,  your  fears  are  groundless.  You  place  a  high 


1904     THE  POLITICAL    WOMAN  IN  AUSTRALIA   109 

value  on  the  chivalrous  attentions  that  men  now  show  you.  Why, 
you  have  not  the  remotest  idea  of  the  vast  stores  of  chivalry  hidden 
away  in  the  inner  recesses  of  man's  nature.  When  you  get  a  vote, 
you  will  find  that  the  chivalry  of  the  middle  ages  was  a  poor  thing 
in  comparison  with  that  of  the  twentieth  century.  The  chivalrous 
attentions  paid  by  candidates  to  women  voters  are  most  embarrassing 
— Sir  Walter  Raleighs  and  De  Lorges  are  thick  as  leaves  in  Vallom- 
brosa  at  election  time.'  But,  joking  apart,  there  is  positively  nothing 
in  the  argument,  and  those  who  use  it  have  a  poor  opinion  of  men  if 
they  really  believe  that  as  soon  as  women  get  the  vote,  men  are  going 
to  help  themselves  first  at  dinner,  or  refuse  to  pick  up  a  lady's  fan  or 
escort  her  to  her  carriage.  Voting  means  responsibility,  responsibility 
means  power,  and  power  always  commands  respect.  The  Federal 
election  showed  that  those  very  candidates  who  had  previously 
maintained  that  women  would  lose  the  respect  of  men  and  be  degraded 
by  going  to  the  poll  were  the  most  assiduous  in  courting  the  women's 
vote.  They  may  have  still  the  utmost  contempt  for  the  women  who 
would  degrade  themselves  by  mixing  with  men  at  the  polling  booths, 
but  they  wrapped  it  up  in  flattery  that  was  calculated  to  deceive 
the  very  elect — and  it  did,  in  some  cases. 

The  elections  had  an  added  interest  in  the  appearance  of  four 
women  candidates  in  the  field — Mrs.  Martell,  Mrs.  Moore  (New  South 
Wales),  myself  (Victoria),  standing  for  the  Senate ;  and  Miss  Selina 
Anderson  (New  South  Wales)  for  the  House  of  Representatives.  All 
were  defeated,  but  the  defeat  was  not  unexpected,  as  we  were  well 
aware  that  it  would  be  altogether  phenomenal  if  women  were  to  succeed 
in  their  first  attempt  to  enter  a  National  Parliament.  I  do  not  know 
the  salient  features  of  the  women  candidates'  campaign  in  New  South 
Wales,  so  I  shall  confine  my  observations  to  my  own  candidature. 
I  was  nominated  by  the  Women's  Federal  Political  Association  of 
Victoria,  of  which  I  am  the  President,  and  I  accepted  the  nomination 
because  I  saw  at  once  what  a  splendid  educational  value  the  campaign 
would  have.  Although  we  possess  the  suffrage,  there  are  still  many 
women  who  do  not  want  it,  do  not  see  why  they  should  be  bothered 
with  it,  but  they  only  need  to  have  the  case  for  woman  suffrage  stated 
to  them  to  accept  it.  At  present  they  take  the  views  of  the  hostile 
press  and  the  comic  papers  as  the  truth  about  the  political  woman, 
but  when  they  hear  the  logic  and  the  sweet  reasonableness  of  woman 
suffrage,  when  they  see  that  those  who  voice  it  have  nothing  abnormal 
about  them,  especially  when  they  learn  what  their  legal  status  is, 
they  soon  become  members  of  the  true  political  faith.  I  knew  that 
I  should  attract  very  much  larger  audiences  as  a  candidate  than  if  I 
were  advertised  to  give  a  lecture  on  woman's  part  in  the  Federal 
elections  or  some  such  subject.  I  believed  that  the  people  would 
come  out  of  curiosity,  and  not  as  single  spies  but  in  battalions,  to  see 
the  wild  woman  that  sought  to  enter  Parliament.  They  came,  they 


110  TEE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

saw,  I  conquered :  that  is,  my  arguments  did ;  for  no  thinking,  fair- 
minded  man  or  woman  can  hold  out  for  five  minutes  against  the 
arguments  for  woman  suffrage  unless,  indeed,  they  seek  to  deny  the 
right  of  self-government,  and  in  these  days  of  storm  and  stress  one 
has  no  time  to  waste  in  arguing  with  such  people.     The  arguments 
for  woman  suffrage  are  also  the  arguments  for  women  entering  Parlia- 
ment, and  thus  I  killed  two  birds  with  one  stone — I  broke  down  the 
prejudice  against  woman  suffrage  and  against  women  members  of 
Parliament.     My  audiences  numbered  from  500  to   1500  people, 
according  to  the  capacity  of  the  hall.     Two  or  three  times  the  atmo- 
sphere was  perceptibly  chilly  as  I  took  the  platform,  though  there 
was  never  any  outward  expression  of  hostility.     However,  before  the 
close  of  these  meetings  I  can  emphatically  say  that  I  had  the  majority 
of  the  audiences  with  me  on  the  question  of  a  woman  going  into 
Parliament.    They  may  not  have  agreed  with  my  political  views ; 
they  did  agree  that  it  is  necessary  for  women  to  enter  Parliament  in 
order  to  voice  the  needs  of  women  and  children,  and  my  meetings 
always  broke  up  with  the  most  enthusiastic  demonstrations  of  good 
will.    Frequently  my  friends  were  rather  fearful  as  to  how  I  should 
fare  at  the  hands  of  those  electors  who  attend  election  meetings  for 
the  express  purpose  of  giving  the  candidate  a  bad  time.     They  came, 
but  they  treated  me  as  men  at  all  worthy  of  the  name  will  always 
treat  a  woman — with  the  utmost  courtesy.    Of  course  I  was  invariably 
asked  the  question,  '  Are  you  in  favour  of  a  tax  on  bachelors  ? '    As 
I  am  an  unmarried  woman,  this  question  was  considered  the  joke  of 
the  evening  ;  but  when  I  replied  that  '  I  should  be  exceedingly  sorry 
to  accept  any  proposal  that  would  be  likely  to  encourage  some  men  to 
get  married,'  the  questioner,  having  an  uncomfortable  feeling  that  he 
might  be  included  amongst  the  undesirables,  generally  concluded  it 
was  safer  to  get  back  to  the  domain  of  practical  politics.    Addressing 
crowded,  orderly,  good-humoured,  enthusiastic  audiences  is  a  delight 
to  a  public  speaker,  and  I  can  truthfully  say  that  I  thoroughly  enjoyed 
my  campaign.     There  were  eighteen  candidates  in  the  field,  and,  while 
unsuccessful,  my  record  of  51,497  votes,  when  85,387  were  sufficient  to 
secure  election,  is  most  gratifying.     I  polled  more  heavily  than  one 
candidate  who  has  been  Premier  of  Victoria,  and  than  another  who 
had  been  for  twenty-six  years  a  member  of  the  State  Legislature, 
defeating  the  one  by  24,327,  the  other  by  32,436  votes— 51,000  odd 
votes,  in  spite  of  the  opposition  of  the  powerful  daily  papers,  and  the 
prejudice  that  a  pioneer  always  has  to  encounter,  is  nothing  less  than 
a  triumph  for  the  cause  that  I  represent,  the  cause  of  women  and 
children. 

That  many  women  not  pledged  supporters  of  the  Labour  party 
voted  for  some,  if  not  all,  of  the  Labour  candidates,  is  strongly  depre- 
cated by  the  other  rival  parties.  It  would  have  been  strange  had 
they  done  otherwise,  considering  that  it  is  primarily  due  to  the  Labour 


party  that  woman  suffrage  is  such  a  live  question  in  Australia.  There 
have  up  to  the  present  been  three  political  parties  here — Free-traders, 
Protectionists,  Labour — we  have  no  strongly  denned  Conservative 
and  Liberal  parties.  The  Free-traders  and  Protectionists  have  been 
so  wedded  to  their  respective  fiscal  theories  that  they  have  deemed 
everything  except  the  tariff  of  minor  importance.  Bent  on  securing 
material  prosperity,  either  by  means  of  high  tariff,  or  revenue  tariff, 
or  no  tariff,  they  forgot  to  be  just  to  the  women  of  Australia.  The 
Labour  party  in  each  State,  whether  Protectionist  or  Free-trade, 
placed  woman  suffrage  first ;  it  fought  hard  for  it,  in  and  out  of  Parlia- 
ment ;  consequently,  owing  nothing  to  the  other  political  parties,  we 
are  not  likely  to  forget  the  party  through  which  woman  suffrage  has 
been  made  a  question  of  practical  politics  throughout  Australia, 
instead  of  remaining,  as  in  other  countries,  the  four  suffrage  States  in 
America  excepted,  a  purely  academic  question.  I  do  not  believe 
that  woman  suffrage  will  ever  become  a  vital  question  in  other  countries 
until  it  is  made  a  fighting  plank  of  the  Labour  party's  platform. 
Recent  political  history  teaches  us  that  every  real  reform  affecting 
human  liberties  and  human  rights  has  come  as  the  result  of  agitation 
by  the  people's  party,  and  the  Labour  party  is  essentially  the  people's 
party.  These  reforms  have  only  been  advocated  by  one  of  the  ortho- 
dox political  parties  after  popular  enthusiasm  has  been  aroused  by 
the  friends  of  the  people.  Social,  and  industrial,  and  political  reforms 
are  only  won  through  the  enthusiasm  that  bitter  suffering  creates. 
Most  men  and  women  who  are  tolerably  well  circumstanced  are 
content  to  glide  along  the  surface  of  life.  It  is  those  to  whom  hard 
work  brings  little  but  anxiety  and  suffering,  or  those  in  whom  sympathy 
and  imagination  are  well  developed,  who  strive  to  bring  about  a 
better,  a  juster  social  order.  Many  supporters  of  woman  suffrage 
are  found  amongst  English  Liberals  and  Conservatives,  but  as  parties 
they  ignore  the  principle  ;  the  last  Trades  Union  Congress  defeated  a 
woman  suffrage  proposition  by  the  narrow  margin  of  seven  votes, 
and  that  because  there  was  a  property  qualification  advocated  instead 
of  '  plain '  womanhood.  So  it  seems  as  if  our  experience  will  be  the 
experience  of  the  women  of  England.  They  will  look  in  vain  to  the 
orthodox  parties  to  fight  their  battles  for  them.  The  Labour  party 
will  come  forward  and  present  a  united  front  in  favour  of  their  enfran- 
chisement ;  then  it  will  dawn  upon  either  a  Conservative  or  a  Liberal 
Government  that  it  will  be  a  popular  political  expedient  to  declare 
for  woman  suffrage,  and  the  women  of  Great  Britain  will  find  them- 
selves the  political  equals  of  their  sisters  in  this  country. 

The  enfranchisement  of  the  women  of  Australia  has  already  given 
an  impetus  to  the  woman  suffrage  movement  in  other  countries. 
Last  year  a  suffrage  amendment  was  submitted  to  the  voters  in  the 
State  of  New  Hampshire,  U.S.A.,  when  it  secured  a  larger  measure  of 
support  than  has  previously  been  accorded  to  a  similar  amendment  in 


112  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  July 

an  Eastern  State.  Only  last  week  the  news  was  cabled  from  England 
that  a  woman  suffrage  deputation  from  the  Women's  Liberal  Federa- 
tion had  been  received  by  Sir  Henry  Campbell  Bannerman  and  Mr. 
John  Morley,  who,  while  they  did  not  commit  the  party  to  the  reform, 
expressed  themselves  in  favour  of  it.  Similar  action  has  previously 
been  taken  by  women's  political  societies  in  England,  similar  expres- 
sions of  approval  have  been  voiced  by  leading  members  of  the  House 
of  Commons,  but  never  has  it  been  considered  worth  while  cabling 
such  news  to  Australia,  which  would  have  been  of  great  interest  to  the 
woman  suffrage  party  here.  But  now  that  we  have  got  the  suffrage, 
it  is  held  to  be  important  to  let  us  know  that  the  question  is  also  being 
placed  before  English  statesmen.  '  In  the  gain  or  loss  of  one  race  all 
the  rest  have  equal  claim,'  and  we  rejoice  to  know  that  our  great 
suffrage  gain  is  helping  other  women  in  their  struggle  for  liberty. 
Our  Australia  is  a  baby  nation  as  yet,  but  she  begins  life  as  no  other 
nation  has  begun  it,  she  begins  with  equal  rights  for  men  and  women. 

VIDA  GOLDSTEIN. 
Melbourne,  February  1904. 


1904 


THE   CAPTURE  OF  LHASA  IN  1710 


THE  capture  of  Lhasa  by  the  Eleuths  at  the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth 
century  has  been  quite  overlooked  in  the  recent  voluminous  literature 
on  the  Tibet  question.  Perhaps  the  explanation  is  that  it  belongs 
to  the  least  carefully  studied  period  of  Asiatic  history.  The  incident 
deserves  to  be  rescued  from  oblivion  at  a  time  when,  after  the  lapse 
of  nearly  two  hundred  years,  the  same  task  now  lies  before  the  soldiers 
of  the  Indian  Government  as  was  successfully  accomplished  by  the 
hordes  of  Tse  Wang  Rabdan.  This  chieftain,  whose  name  will  be 
unfamiliar  to  the  general  reader,  was  one  of  the  greatest  rulers  that 
Central  Asia  ever  produced,  defying  with  no  inconsiderable  success 
Russia  on  one  side  and  the  famous  Chinese  Emperor  Kanghi  on  the 
other.  It  is  not  a  little  curious  that  our  principal  authority  on  the 
subject  of  the  campaign  in  Tibet  that  we  are  about  to  describe  should 
be  a  Russian  traveller,  Unkoffsky,  who  visited  the  Eleuth  capital 
not  long  after  the  event,  and  of  whose  narrative  in  Russian  there  is 
a  copy  in  the  British  Museum  library. 

The  century  which  closed  with  the  Eleuth  invasion  in  1710  was  the 
most  important  in  the  history  of  Tibet,  for  it  witnessed  the  disappear- 
ance of  the  old  reigning  dynasty,  the  establishment  of  the  power  of 
the  Dalai  Lama  in  its  place,  the  expulsion  of  the  military  faction,  and 
the  arrival  of  the  first  Chinese  garrison.  In  earlier  times  Tibet  had 
been  ruled  by  a  line  of  princes  who  had  waged  war  and  made  peace 
on  equal  terms  with  the  Emperors  of  China,  and  the  last  king  was 
reigning  during  at  least  the  first  twenty  years  of  the  seventeenth 
century.  Father  Andrada,  the  missionary  who  visited  Tibet  about 
that  time,  speaks  of  the  king's  leanings  towards  Christianity,  and 
perhaps  this  was  the  final  cause  of  the  downfall  of  his  dynasty.  Until 
the  year  1625  the  Buddhist  priests  had  been  content  with  their  priestly 
duties.  They  had  kept  to  their  monasteries  and  prayer-wheels,  and 
although  the  transmigration  of  the  eternal  spirit  of  Buddha  through 
a  child  was  always  the  essential  feature  in  the  recognition  and  pro- 
clamation of  the  head  of  the  Tibetan  Church,  the  name  of  the  Dalai 
Lama  had  not  been  heard  of  until  the  first  Manchu  Emperor,  Chuntche, 
conferred  it  on  the  High  Priest  of  Potola  in  or  about  the  year  1650. 

But  for  some  time  previous  to  that  event  the  priests  had  been 

VOL.  LVI — No.   329  113  I 


114  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

striving  to  obtain  the  control  of  the  civil  government,  and  the  com- 
pliments and  presents  of  the  Manchu  ruler,  still  insecurely  seated  on 
the  throne  of  Peking,  were  the  recognition  of  their  success.  They  had 
come  out  of  their  monasteries  and  entered  the  political  arena.  Assum- 
ing the  Yellow  Cap  as  their  distinctive  mark  in  contrast  to  the  Red 
Cap  of  the  military  party,  which  then  enjoyed  the  ascendency,  they 
entered  upon  a  struggle  for  power  which  covered  the  first  fifty  years 
of  the  seventeenth  century,  for  it  commenced  in  the  life  of  the  last  of 
the  kings.  The  Yellow  Caps  enjoyed  the  sympathy  and  support  of 
the  Chinese,  but  it  is  not  easy  to  fix  precisely  the  value  of  their  aid, 
for  China  herself  was  passing  through  the  throes  of  the  last  Tartar 
conquest.  On  the  other  hand  the  Red  Caps,  too  confident  in  their 
strength,  did  not  seek  assistance  in  any  direction,  and  when  at  length 
the  priests,  pouring  out  of  the  lamaseries  in  thousands,  bore  down 
on  them,  they  ended  the  struggle  by  sheer  weight  of  numbers,  and 
the  surviving  Red  Caps  had  no  alternative  but  to  flee  into  the  Hima- 
layan State  of  Bhutan,  where  they  still  enjoy  the  supremacy  that 
they  lost  in  Tibet.  The  Jongpin  who  visited  Colonel  Younghusband's 
camp  the  other  day  would  in  all  probability  be  the  descendant  of 
one  of  these  Tibetan  soldiers  who  were  expelled  over  250  years  ago 
by  the  Lamas.  This  event  happened  in  or  a  little  before  1649,  and 
the  Chinese  Emperor's  edict  conferring  on  the  High  Priest  of  Potola 
the  title  of  Dalai  Lama — meaning  Ocean  Lama,  because  his  learning 
was  supposed  to  be  equally  vast — was  the  formal  recognition  of  the 
triumph  of  the  Yellow  Caps. 

The  Lamas,  having  expelled  the  regular  rulers  of  the  country, 
had  to  provide  for  a  new  government.  A  civilian  official  with  the 
title  of  the  Tipa  was  given  charge  of  the  civil  and  military  adminis- 
tration in  the  name  of  the  Dalai  Lama.  The  first  Tipa,  of  whom 
Duhalde  wrote  : — '  This  Tipa  wore  the  dress  of  a  lama  without  having 
to  be  subject  to  the  heavy  obligations  of  the  order ' — was  the  man 
who  had  chiefly  aided  the  priests  in  getting  rid  of  their  military  rivals. 
His  son  in  due  course  succeeded  to  his  authority,  and,  being  a  man  of 
great  ambition,  he  was  not  content  with  even  the  slight  and  nominal 
control  of  the  Dalai  Lama.  An  opportunity  was  not  long  in  presenting 
itself.  The  first  Dalai  Lama  died  in  1682,  and  the  Tipa  then  took 
steps  to  prevent  the  discovery  of  his  successor.  In  other  words,  he 
suppressed  the  office  of  Dalai  Lama,  but  while  acting  thus  arbitrarily 
he  carefully  concealed  the  truth  of  the  case  from  the  Emperor  Kanghi, 
the  new  ruler  of  China.  The  Tipa  imposed  so  skilfully  on  the  Chinese 
ruler  that  he  received  as  a  reward  for  his  loyal  and  useful  services  to 
the  Dalai  Lama  the  title  of  Prince  of  Tibet — Tibet  Wang— at  the 
hands  of  Kanghi.  The  fraud  was  not  discovered  for  sixteen  years. 
In  1698  the  facts  became  known  at  Peking,  and  the  indignation  and 
astonishment  of  the  Emperor  on  discovering  that  he  had  been  imposed 
upon  found  relief  in  a  series  of  admirably  composed  letters  and  edicts 


1904         THE   CAPTURE   OF  LHASA    IN  1710  115 

which  the  curious  reader  will  find  in  the  interesting  pages  of  the -Abbe 
Duhalde. 

The  Tipa,  having  tasted  the  sweets  of  power,  was  determined  not 
to  lose  it  without  an  effort,  and  he  looked  about  him  to  see  who  could 
render  him  aid.  Even  before  he  was  discovered  he  had  negotiated 
a  treaty  with  Galdan,  then  at  the  height  of  his  power  and  more  than 
holding  his  own  against  the  Chinese.  It  looks  as  if  it  were  the  discovery 
of  their  correspondence  that  first  made  Kanghi  dubious  of  the  Tipa's 
good  faith.  But  although  Galdan  was  not  at  all  unwilling  to  profit 
by  the  success  of  the  Tipa,  he  was  not  in  a  position  to  render  him  any 
definite  support,  and  without  external  support  it  was  soon  made 
evident  that  the  Tipa  could  not  maintain  his  position.  The  lamas 
looked  to  China,  and  the  suppression  of  their  religious  head  was  not 
at  all  to  their  liking.  When  Kanghi  wrote  that  the  true  Dalai  Lama 
must  be  found,  they  quickly  fixed  upon  the  suitable  child.  The  Tipa 
fell  from  his  seat  of  power,  and  was  promptly  dealt  with  as  an  insub- 
ordinate officer.  No  difficulty  was  found  in  getting  rid  of  him.  One 
of  his  own  lieutenants,  to  whom,  as  a  reward  for  the  deed,  was  given 
the  title  of  Latsan  Khan,  killed  him  at  the  first  opportunity. 

The  death  of  Galdan  while  these  occurrences  were  going  on  pro- 
duced a  lull  in  the  march  of  rival  policies  in  Central  Asia.  The  Chinese, 
satisfied  with  tranquillity,  took  no  steps,  while  the  new  king  of  the 
Eleuths  hesitated  as  to  the  direction  in  which  he  should  turn  his 
energy.  This  potentate  was  Tse  Wang  Rabdan,  and  in  extenuation 
of  his  restless  turbulence  it  must  be  allowed  that  the  Chinese  armies 
under  their  Manchu  leaders  had  advanced  far  into  the  Gobi  desert, 
crushed  the  Khalkas  on  the  Kerulon,  and  threatened  to  overrun 
Kashgaria  and  Kuldja.  The  offensive  measures  of  Tse  Wang  Rabdan 
might  then  be  justified  on  the  ground  that  in  a  strict  sense  they  were 
really  defensive.  In  the  time  of  Galdan  the  struggle  had  been  carried 
on  chiefly  round  the  modern  town  of  Urga.  The  new  turn  of  the 
political  wheel  brought  Tibet  into  prominence.  Tse  Wang  Rabdan 
determined  to  put  an  end  to  Chinese  influence  in  that  country  by 
capturing  the  Dalai  Lama  and  carrying  him  off  to  Hi.  The  scheme 
was  a  bold  one,  and  it  would  undoubtedly  have  succeeded  if  the  young 
Dalai  Lama,  discovered  as  a  child  in  1698  or  1699,  had  been  left  at 
Lhasa.  His  timely  removal  to  Sining  was  the  sole  cause  of  the  failure 
of  the  Eleuth  King  in  accomplishing  his  main  object. 

Before  we  take  up  the  description  of  the  military  expedition,  the 
facts  that  have  been  mentioned  suggest  a  few  pertinent  observations 
on  the  present  situation,  that  has  so  much  practical  interest  for  us 
and  for  the  people  of  India.  In  a  debate  in  the  House  of  Lords  on 
the  26th  of  February  Lords  Ripon  and  Rosebery  made  speeches  in 
which  the  dominant  note  was  incredulity  as  to  the  feasibility  of  Russian 
intervention  in  Tibet.  The  former  appealed  to  the  natural  difficul- 
ties described  by  Dr.  Sven  Hedin,  the  latter  questioned  the  likelihood 

i  2 


116  THE   NINETEENTH   CENTURY  July 

of  any  convention  having  been  signed  between  Russians  and  Tibetans. 
Both  were  disposed  to  represent  that  any  apprehensions  of  outside 
interference  in  Tibet,  other,  of  course,  than  Chinese,  rested  on  an 
illusory  foundation.  We  may  refer  these  statesmen  to  the  history 
of  Tibet  from,  let  us  say,  1690  to  1710.  Lord  Ripon  will  see  that 
Ghereng  Donduk  with  an  army  at  his  back  was  a  more  successful 
traveller  than  Sven  Hedin.  Lord  Rosebery  will  admit  that,  if  an 
Eleuth  prince  could  not  merely  conclude  an  arrangement  with  Tibet 
but  send  an  army  to  Lhasa  to  enforce  it,  the  same  achievement  is 
not  beyond  the  capacity  of  a  European  State  in  possession  of  practic- 
ally the  same  base — viz.  the  major  part  of  the  old  Eleuth  country, 
while  dominating  beyond  any  possible  disputation  the  rest. 

To  return  to  Tse  Wang  Rabdan.  The  Emperor  Kanghi  believed 
that  the  death  of  Galdan  meant  a  more  tranquil  time  on  the  side  of 
Central  Asia.  He  had  no  real  love  for  those  costly  enterprises  in  the 
desert  beyond  the  Great  Wall.  He  recognised  the  ability  of  Galdan, 
but  he  counted  on  the  balance  of  chances  that  his  successor  would 
not  be  his  equal,  for  it  is  rarely  in  the  world's  history  that  '  Amurath 
to  Amurath  succeeds.'  It  happened,  however,  that  the  new  chief 
of  the  Eleuths  was  no  less  ambitious  and  scarcely  less  able  than  his 
predecessor.  But  whereas  Galdan  had  thought  that  the  Chinese 
armies  were  to  be  driven  back  in  the  deserts  of  Mongolia,  Tse  Wang 
Rabdan  came  to  the  conclusion  that  the  master-stroke  might  be 
dealt  to  Chinese  influence  and  fame  in  Tibet.  For  this  reason  he 
recalled  the  treaty  that  the  Tipa  had  concluded  with  his  uncle,  and 
resolved  on  exacting  vengeance  for  the  murder  of  his  family's  ally. 

In  1709  he  organised  his  forces  for  a  protracted  expedition.  Organ- 
ising meant  for  him  the  collection  of  a  sufficient  number  of  camels, 
and  he  advanced  at  the  head  of  his  army  to  Lob  Nor  or  its  neighbour- 
hood. Here  he  learnt  that  the  young  Dalai  Lama  had  been  carried 
ofi  for  safety  to  Sining  on  the  borders  of  Shensi,  and  as  his  main  object 
was  to  capture  the  person  of  the  priest  ruler  of  Tibet,  he  decided  to 
divide  his  army  into  two  bodies,  leading  one  himself  against  Sining, 
and  entrusting  the  other  to  the  command  of  his  brother  or  cousin 
Chereng  Donduk  for  the  express  purpose  of  capturing  Lhasa.  The 
available  authorities  are  uncertain  as  to  the  relationship  between  the 
Eleuth  prince  and  Chereng  or  Zeren  Donduk,  but  the  probability  is  that 
they  were  only  cousins.  It  will  be  convenient  to  mention  at  this  point 
that  Tse  Wang  Rabdan's  attack  on  Sining  was  repulsed,  or  at  all  events 
that  it  failed  of  success,  and  thus  the  Dalai  Lama  personally  escaped 
from  the  consequences  of  the  capture  and  plunder  of  his  capital. 

The  force  with  which  Chereng  Donduk  marched  from  Lob  Nor  to 
Lhasa  did  not  exceed  6000  men,  and  it  is  stated  that  it  was  accom- 
panied by  several  thousand  camels.  Some  of  these  carried  swivel 
guns,  which  were  discharged  from  their  backs,  but  the  bulk  of  them 
conveyed  the  provisions  of  the  army.  Unlike  modern  travellers, 


1904         THE   CAPTUEE   OF  LHASA   IN  1710  117 

the  expedition  made  little  of  the  difficulties  encountered  on  the  route. 
In  the  narrative  of  Chereng  Donduk,  as  preserved  by  Gospodin 
Unkoffsky,  there  are  no  striking  pictures  of  salt  deserts  or  sand- 
storms, which  makes  one  suspect  that  neither  Colonel  Prjevalsky  nor 
Dr.  Sven  Hedin  discovered  the  best  route  from  the  north  into  Tibet. 
The  Eleuth  army  reached  the  district  south  of  Tengri  Nor  without 
loss  and  in  good  condition.  At  some  point  between  that  lake  and  the 
capital  it  found  the  Tibetan  forces  drawn  up  to  oppose  its  progress. 

The  Tibetan  army  of  that  day  was  not  more  formidable  in  a  military 
sense  than  its  antitype  is  now,  but  Latsan  Khan — the  Talai  Han 
of  Duhalde — had  collected  in  some  way  or  other  a  body  of  20,000 
men.  Many  of  these  were  mercenaries  from  Mongolia  or  the  Hima- 
layas, and  probably  the  bulk  of  those  present  were  civilians  or  priests, 
ignorant  of  the  use  of  arms,  and  brought  there  for  the  day  merely 
to  make  a  show.  The  advance  of  the  Eleuth  camel  corps,  and  the 
noise  if  not  the  execution  of  the  swivel  guns,  put  the  whole  of  the 
Tibetan  force  to  the  rout.  It  became  a  general  sauve  qui  peut,  and 
in  the  confusion  Latsan  Khan,  the  Tibetan  generalissimo,  lost  his 
life,  probably  at  the  hands  of  some  of  his  own  followers.  Thus  com- 
pletely defeated  at  the  first  encounter,  the  Tibetan  army  never  re- 
assembled. Military  resistance  to  the  Eleuth -invaders  was  not  again 
so  much  as  attempted. 

A  few  days  after  the  fight  near  Tengri  Nor  the  Eleuths  reached 
and  entered  Lhasa.  They  entered  without  firing  a  shot,  the  pagodas 
and  lamaseries  were  pillaged,  an  immense  spoil  was  taken  in  the 
residence  of  the  Dalai  Lama  at  Potola,  and  then,  having  plundered 
several  other  towns  in  the  valley  which  are  not  named,  the  Eleuth  army 
prepared  to  return  to  Ili.  In  addition  to  the  loot  taken  the  Eleuths 
carried  off  a  considerable  number  of  lamas  as  prisoners.  Duhalde 
affirms,  with  a  certain  degree  of  satisfaction  at  the  troubles  of  rival 
priests,  whom  he  calls  elsewhere  idolaters,  that  '  all  the  lamas  who 
could  be  found  were  put  in  sacks  and  strung  across  the  backs  of  camels 
and  thus  carried  off  to  Tartary.' 

Two  minor  incidents  in  this  campaign  may  be  mentioned.  The 
Eleuths  found  at  Lhasa  a  Tartar  (really  Kirghiz)  princess  and  her 
son,  who  had  come,  with  the  permission  of  the  Russians,  from  their 
home  in  the  Astrachan  district  to  make  the  pilgrimage  to  the  holy 
city  of  Tibet.  She  was  the  sister-in-law  of  Ayuka,  the  Tourgouth 
chief  who  had  fled  from  Chinese  territory,  and  whose  grandson  returned 
later  on  with  his  people  to  China,  as  described  by  De  Quincey  in  his 
brilliant  essay  '  The  Flight  of  a  Tartar  Tribe.'  The  presence  of  these 
interesting  pilgrims  is  in  its  way  evidence  of  the  ease  with  which 
Lhasa  could  be  reached  from  Russian  territory.  The  second  incident 
was  the  narrow  escape  from  the  invaders  of  the  '  lama  missionaries,' 
as  Duhalde  calls  the  Christian  converts  of  his  order, who  were  employed 
on  the  collection  of  the  materials  for  the  great  map  of  Tibet,  with  which 


118  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

the  name  of  D'Anville  was  subsequently  associated.  They  had  only 
quitted  Lhasa  a  few  days  when  the  Tartar  hordes  burst  in  upon  it. 

Unkoffsky,  the  Russian  envoy  to  Tse  Wang  Rabdan,  who  visited 
his  camp  or  capital  in  1722,  states  that  on  this  expedition  the  Eleuths 
suffered  little  or  no  loss.  But  their  attack  on  Sining  was  repulsed, 
and  the  failure  to  secure  the  person  of  the  Dalai  Lama  converted 
their  daring  invasion  of  Tibet  into  a  mere  plundering  raid.  But 
that  does  not  diminish  the  value,  as  an  object-lesson  for  the  present 
day,  of  their  capture  of  Lhasa. 

In  consequence  of  the  Eleuth  invasion,  and  the  proof  it  afforded 
that  the  Tibetan  lamas  were  unable  to  protect  themselves,  the  Emperor 
Kanghi  sent  a  Chinese  garrison  to  Lhasa,  and  there  was  no  further 
invasion  of  Tibet  until  1790,  when  the  Goorkhas  entered  the  country 
and  plundered  Teshu  Lumbo.  The  circumstances  of  that  campaign, 
including  the  Chinese  invasion  of  Nepaul  and  the  imposition  of  a  humi- 
liating treaty  on  the  Goorkhas  near  Khatmandu,  are  fairly  well  known. 

Less  well  known  is  the  contest  between  the  Eleuths  and  the 
Russians  that  followed.  Chereng  Donduk  therein  gave  further  proof 
of  the  military  skill  with  which  he  had  conducted  the  march  to  Lhasa. 
The  early  relations  of  Russia  and  China  are  full  of  interesting  matter. 
In  the  seventeenth  century  the  Emperor  of  China  styled  himself 
'  the  Czar's  elder  brother.'  When  the  fort  of  Albazin  was  razed  to 
the  ground,  and  its  residents — 101  in  number,  with  their  priest,  Maxime 
Leontieff — were  carried  off  to  Peking  to  found  there  the  still  existing 
colony,  and  to  build  the  first  Greek  church  in  1695,  no  one  anticipated 
the  complete  inversion  in  their  positions  that  has  occurred  within 
the  last  twenty  years.  Baffled  on  the  Upper  Amour,  the  next  forward 
movement  of  the  Russians  was  in  the  Kirghiz  region  towards  the 
possessions  of  Tse  Wang  Rabdan.  The  gold-seeking  mission  of 
Prince  Gagarine  was  followed  by  the  establishment  of  several  petty 
forts  or  blockhouses.  His  lieutenant,  Bukholz,  founded  one  of  the 
more  important  of  these,  named  Fort  Yamishewa,  on  the  stream 
Priasnukha,  and  Tse  Wang  Rabdan,  finding  its  proximity  irksome, 
sent  Chereng  Donduk  to  demolish  it,  and  to  expel  or  capture  the 
foreigners.  The  Russians  suffered  some  loss,  but  discreetly  abandoned 
their  fort  and  established  themselves  at  a  safer  distance  from  the  Eleuth 
ruler.  This  event  happened  in  1715  or  1716,  and  the  mission  of  Unkoffsky 
was  sent  with  the  object  of  establishing  more  neighbourly  relations. 

On  the  principle  that  what  has  once  been  accomplished  may  be 
repeated,  this  brief  record  of  a  half-forgotten,  or  at  least  obscure, 
historical  event  may  convince  the  British  public  that  a  Russian 
invasion  of  Tibet,  by  diplomatic  missions  in  the  first  place  and  by 
armed  force  later  on,  is  not  the  fantastic  or  impossible  undertaking 
that  so  many  persons  have  represented  it  to  be. 

DEMETRIUS  C.  BOULGER. 


1904 


ISCHIA    IN  JUNE 

IN  these  days  of  fevered  excitement,  the  full  '  harvest  of  a  quiet  eye ' 
can  but  seldom  be  reaped  and  gathered  in.  The  driving  and  driven 
twentieth  century  is  always  finding  excuse  for  telephoning  and  tele- 
graphing after  us  '  Hurry  up  ! '  One  single  fortnight,  which  is  all 
that  I  was  able  to  spend  this  summer  at  the  Bagni  di  Casamicciola,  in 
the  island  of  Ischia,  gives  me  but  scant  right  to  describe  this  paradise. 
When  I  say  '  paradise,'  I  mean  literally  a  garden ;  for  such  was  our 
first  and  last  impression  of  the  island.  Following  the  road  up  the  hill 
from  the  landing-place  in  the  direction  of  the  principal  hotels,  past 
the  little  villas  of  Casamicciola,  we  were  always  struck  anew  by  the 
rich  luxuriance  of  vines,  of  orange  and  lemon  trees ;  roses,  carnations, 
and  cactuses;  and  the  brilliance  of  many  a  red  geranium,  tumbling  in 
cataract  adown  the  tier-planted  terrace  walls.  In  the  early  morning,  the 
falls  of  deep  blue  convolvuli,  escaping  from  the  flower-beds  over  the  wall, 
showed  masses  of  blossoms,  larger  and  finer  than  I  have  ever  seen 
elsewhere.  It  is  curious  that  whatever  blossoms  in  this  little  island 
attains  to  larger  size  and  richer  colour.  Soil  and  sun  are  exceptionally 
favourable.  Ferns  and  flowers,  some  of  them  rare,  grow  wildly  every- 
where. I  was  told  of  a  work  I  have  not  seen,  which  contains  an 
account  in  Latin  of  the  flora  of  the  island,  and  mentions  two  or  more 
plants  belonging  to  tropical  regions,  but  finding  a  congenial  home  in 
chasms  near  the  fumeoli,  whence  issue  hot  vapours  from  the  labouring 
furnaces  below.  For  this  garden  rests  on  the  bosom  of  a  volcano.  It 
is  a  child  of  the  volcano,  which,  besides  bestowing  so  rich  a  gift  of 
fertile  soil,  is  also  so  greatly  beneficent  in  yielding  the  miraculously 
healing  mineral  waters,  known  and  used  by  suffering  humanity  for 
more  than  two  thousand  years.  Analyses  of  the  various  waters,  or 
accounts  of  their  curative  action,  may  be  found  in  a  long  line  of  authors, 
from  Strabo  down  to  Dr.  Cox  and  his  later  confreres.  The  well- 
appointed  Stabilimento  di  Bagni  of  Signor  Manzi  at  Casamicciola 
(who,  by  the  by,  speaks  English  fluently,  and  whose  wife  is  from  Scot- 
land) leaves  nothing  to  be  desired,  and  has  been  recently  rearranged. 
There  are  other  bathing-houses  of  a  cheaper  sort,  and  on  the  sea- 
shore is  a  large  house  of  charity,  '  Monte  della  Misericordia,'  for  sick 

119 


120  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  July 

poor  coming  to  be  healed.  At  the  time  of  our  visit  it  was  not  yet 
open,  the  season  not  having  commenced.  This  pious  foundation  has 
existed  since  the  year  1604,  when  a  small  beginning  was  made  by  the 
sale  of  fragments  gathered  up  from  the  remains  of  a  high  feast  of  the 
jeunesse  doree  of  that  period. 

I  have  often  wished  we  could  set  against  the  total  of  those  who 
have  suffered  in  the  earthquakes  the  incomparably  greater  number  of 
cures  and  restorations  to  more  or  less  happy  existence  of  those  who 
have  benefited  by  the  waters ;  and  man  has  been  far  more  cruel  to 
his  fellow  man  than  ever  has  been  Nature.  It  would  be  a  grievous 
task  to  go  through  the  history  of  the  Neapolitan  provinces,  which  has 
always  found  its  echo  in  the  neighbouring  islands,  and  notably  in 
Ischia.  Tyranny,  oppression,  pillage,  war — unreal  words  to  most  of 
us  who  run  so  glibly  over  them.  The  choice  of  King  David  might 
here  give  utterance  to  our  conclusion :  '  Let  us  fall  into  the  hand  of 
the  Lord,  for  His  mercies  are  great ;  and  let  me  not  fall  into  the  hand 
of  man.' 

Since  the  last  earthquake,  in  1883,  the  new  houses  have  been 
built  under  Government  inspection,  after  a  plan  adopted  in  Calabria, 
and  are  held  to  be  proof  against  earthquake  shocks. 

Our  island  is  not  a  winter  residence,  for  the  winds  are  cold,  and 
storms  make  it  too  often  impossible  for  steamers  to  land  their  pas- 
sengers and  mails.  In  July  and  August  it  is  cooler  than  in  the  imme- 
diate neighbourhood  of  Naples,  and  in  the  month  of  June  we  found  it 
delightful.  It  was  free  from  the  tourists,  who  mostly  come  in  the 
spring,  and  from  the  multitude  of  midsummer  bathing  guests.  If  the 
vineyards  were  not  in  the  rich  ripeness  of  autumn,  the  flowers  were  in 
their  early  summer  freshness.  The  bright  yellow  Spanish  broom,  in 
blossom  all  over  the  island,  seemed  continually  to  greet  us  with 
heaven-sent  laughter,  as  in  innocent  gladness  of  heart  victorious  over 
an  infernal  havoc  of  lava.  I  recall  one  specially  typical  picture  of 
this  prophetic  triumph  on  the  road  leading  downward  from  Barano  to 
Ischia,  near  the  vent  in  the  mountain-side  of  the  latest  eruption  of 
1302.  "Wide-spreading  black  lava  blocks  contrasted  with  the  brilliant 
golden  splendour  of  the  flowers  of  the  genista,  springing  up,  Heaven 
knows  how,  in  the  crevices,  and  all  aglow  in  the  kindred  glory  of  a 
setting  sun.  The  right  was  flanked  by  a  grove  of  pine  trees,  with  their 
dark  green  billowy  masses  of  foliage,  while  ever  and  anon  the  castle 
rock  of  Ischia  came  into  view  at  the  end  of  a  forest  glade,  and  the 
expanse  of  deep  blue  summer  sea  sparkled  below  in  varying  tints  and 
lights. 

Suddenly  we  had  come  on  a  little  valley  dip  crossed  by  an  aqueduct ,. 
which  conveys  water  to  Ischia  from  the  one  only  cold  spring  in  the 
island.  Higher  up  stands  the  fragment  of  an  ancient  oak — the  only 
tree  not  of  comparatively  recent  growth  that  I  noticed ;  but  some  old 
inhabitants  are  probably  to  be  found  in  the  chestnut  groves  near 


1904  ISCHIA   IN  JUNE  121 

Barano.  The  island  yields  little  or  nothing  for  the  ordinary  food  of 
man.  Everything  must  be  brought  from  the  mainland.  The  peasants 
are  very  poor,  and  they  emigrate  in  numbers  every  year  to  America, 
never  to  return,  as  in  other  parts  of  Italy. 

Everywhere  the  land  is  so  broken  up  into  hills,  and  rocks,  and 
chasms,  that  almost  every  turn  affords  a  fresh  vignette.  Our  ex- 
plorations were  limited  to  drives  in  the  little  carrozzelle,  and  there 
is  a  fairly  good  road  all  round  the  island. 

Monte  Epomeo,  2,616  feet  above  sea-level,  unrolls  a  wide  map  at 
the  foot  of  the  climber ;  and  what  a  map  is  here  presented  may  be 
foretold  by  whoever  has  but  some  slight  knowledge  of  the  classic 
sites  which  lie  around  Naples — I  should  prefer  to  say,  which  lie  around 
the  tomb  of  the  immortal  poet,  for  this  tomb  of  Virgil  is  the  ideal 
spot  in  a  city  alike  indolent  and  corrupt  in  the  past  and  the  present, 
and  where  bright  beacons  of  a  higher  and  productive  life  are  but 
rare. 

A  bare  mention  of  some  of  the  renowned  sites  visible  from  the 
summit  must  suffice.  The  view  was  thus  described  to  me  by  a  nimble 
spirit  who  ascended  the  mountain: — Looking  south  is  unfolded  the 
entire  Bay  of  Naples,  with  the  well-known  islands.  Vesuvius,  now 
slumbering,  scarce  seems  to  breathe  from  its  awful  mouth ;  the 
majestic  outline  of  its  silent  slopes  sweeps  westward  towards  the  city. 
On  the  right,  the  promontory  and  town  of  Sorrento,  and  the  coast 
leading  down  to  Castellamare.  Pompeii  and  Herculaneum  are  indi- 
cated behind  the  suburbs,  which  extend  in  a  long  and  weary  line  of 
streets  into  Naples.  At  the  opposite  end  of  the  city,  and  nearer  to 
our  island,  the  villas  and  promontory  of  Posilipo.  What  shall  I  say 
of  Puteoli,  point  of  pilgrimage  for  all  who  follow  the  journeyings  of 
St.  Paul  ?  Then  the  sulphurous  neighbourhood  of  Baiae  ;  the  lofty, 
wide-stretching  promontory  of  Misenum ;  Cumae,  with  its  acropolis 
(nearly  opposite  to  Casamicciola) ;  the  Gulf  of  Gaeta,  whose  past 
honours  are  divided  between  the  Nurse  of  JLneas  and  Pope  Pius  IX., 
follows  the  long  line  of  coast  reaching  to  Monte  Circello ;  while 
the  Apennines  of  the  Abruzzi  are  towering  above  the  horizon  on 
the  left.  Such  is  the  bird's-eye  southern  outlook  from  Monte 
Epomeo. 

There  is  no  crater  now  traceable  on  the  silent  summit.  As  seen 
from  Casamicciola,  the  highest  point  displays  yellow  sandstone  rock 
surrounded  by  masses  of  many-tinted  fragments  of  tufa,  trachyte, 
scoriae,  pumice,  and  I  know  not  what  other  combinations,  running 
over  from  Nature's  melting-pot.  Further  down  we  perceive  clefts  of 
the  greyish-blue  marl,  which  affords  material  for  the  industry  of  the 
island — the  brick  and  pottery  works.  In  this  marl  are  found  shells 
of  fishes  still  common  in  the  Tyrrhene  Sea.  The  theory  is  that  these 
submarine  deposits,  flung  upward  in  the  earlier  eruptions,  washed  up 
with  sea-water,  hurled  hither  and  thither,  together  with  the  lava, 


122  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUBY  July 

finally  choked  up  the  crater's  mouth.    Later  eruptions  found  vents  in 
the  sides  of  the  mountain. 

Ancient  tradition  tallies  in  some  measure  with  scientific  theory, 
telling  how  Monte  Epomeo  vomited  fire  and  ashes,  how  the  sea 
receded  and  then  returned,  overflowing  the  land  and  extinguishing 
the  fire. 

For  examples  of  the  lateral  vents,  see  Monte  Rotaro  and  II  Mon- 
tagnone,  a  couple  of  little  extinct  volcanoes  near  Casamicciola,  with 
lava  streams  flowing  down  to  the  sea.  Another  vent  is  evident  at  the 
head  of  the  broad  stream  of  the  lava  of  the  Arso,  which  marks  the 
latest  eruption  of  1302,  and  which  I  have  mentioned  as  now  clad 
with  marvellous  beauty  of  flowers  and  trees. 

Driving  from  Barano  to  Forio,  we  passed  one  of  the  many  stufe, 
or  fumeoli.  Some  of  these  pour  out  steam  to  the  tune  of  140°  to 
180°  Fahrenheit,  and  in  their  depths  may  be  heard  the  boiling  and 
bubbling  of  seething  waters  and  turbulent  gases.  The  theory  of  their 
origin  is  the  communication  of  waters  of  the  sea  with  volcanic  fires 
immediately  underneath.  This,  of  course,  can  mean  nothing  else  than 
the  visits  of  the  god  of  the  ocean,  Poseidon,  to  his  stormy  old  friend, 
Typhoeus,  who  is  lying  buried  alive  under  the  '  hard  couch,'  Inarime 
by  name,  which  appears  to  have  been  upset  over  his  mighty  frame  to 
bind  him  fast  by  order  of  Zeus.  This  '  hard  bed,'  Inarime,  is  now 
our  fair  island  of  Ischia.  On  the  beach,  near  the  pleasing  little  town 
of  Lacco  Ameno,  we  trod  on  a  black,  sparkling  sand,  sensibly  hot  to 
the  feet,  and  in  which  hot  water  may  be  seen  to  rise  immediately  on 
our  making  such  holes  as  children  at  play  might  dig  with  their  small 
spades.  The  blackness  is  owing  to  an  abundance  of  oxide  of  iron,  the 
sparkling  to  the  presence  of  quartz,  and  the  heat  to  the  untiring 
furnace  below.  Virgil  sings,  hard  by  to  his  mention  of  Inarime 
(Mn.  ix.  714) : 

Miscent  se  maria,  et  nigrce  adtolluntur  arence. 

But  the  black  volcanic  sand  is  not  peculiar  to  Ischia  ;  it  is  common 
in  those  regions. 

We  searched  in  vain,  being  no  botanists,  for  a  flower  called  by  the 
islanders  the  lily  of  Santa  Restituta.  It  is  a  plant  of  the  squill  tribe, 
flowering  only  in  the  autumn,  and  is  fabled  to  have  sprung  up  in  the 
sand  near  the  spot  where  Santa  Restituta  came  on  shore  after  she  had 
suffered  martyrdom  in  Africa,  being  thrown  alive  into  a  cask  and 
cast  into  the  sea.  The  church  dedicated  to  the  saint  contains  a 
series  of  modern  pictures,  telling  the  miraculous  story  of  her  life  and 
her  landing  in  the  island.  These  pictures  are  full  of  feeling,  and  are 
well  imagined,  however  wanting  in  technique.  They  are  probably 
the  work  of  some  young  enthusiast,  but  the  'parroco '  could  not  give  us 
the  name  of  the  artist,  or  tell  us  anything  about  him.  The  simple 
country  people  and  sailors  delight  greatly  in  those  graphic  tellings  of 


1904  ISCHIA   IN  JUNE  123 

the  story  of  their  honoured  saint.  They  throng  here  on  the  day  of  her 
festival  (17th  May),  this  year  delayed  because  of  repairs  going  for- 
ward, and  we  were  sorry  not  to  remain  a  few  days  longer  to  behold  the 
festive  gathering.  The  '  parroco '  told  us  the  church  is  then  decorated 
with  straw  work,  which  is  an  industry  of  the  island,  richly  coloured 
and  highly  polished,  but  woefully  wanting  in  taste. 

(How  is  it,  by  the  by,  that,  generally  speaking  and  with  few 
exceptions,  all  Italian  work  of  the  present  day,  from  the  statues  of 
Dante  to  the  straw  work  and  the  pottery  of  our  island,  is  bathos  ?) 

In  the  chancel,  beside  the  high  altar,  we  found  a  Madonna  and 
Child,  by  an  Old  Master — a  painting  of  great  merit  in  colour  and 
expression,  eyebrows  and  eyes  singularly  beautiful.  Whether  this 
picture  was  brought  here  from  the  convent  close  by,  or  what  was  the 
history  of  it,  we  could  not  ascertain.  It  stands  in  a  very  unfavourable 
light  and  position — the  '  parroco '  said  because  there  was  nowhere  else 
to  put  it.  I  ignorantly  suggested  it  might  be  removed  to  an  altar  in 
the  nave,  in  place  of  some  daub  representing — I  forget  what.  He 
replied,  in  a  tone  of  astonishment,  that  it  would  be  impossible  to  put 
a  strange  picture  on  an  altar  dedicated  to  some  other  saint  or  subject. 

The  basin  for  holy  water  at  the  church  door  is  an  exquisite  little 
cinerary  urn  in  white  marble.  From  two  cornucopiae,  reversed, 
issues  a  garland  of  flowers,  and  below  is  a  basket,  also  reversed,  con- 
taining fruits  and  flowers.  The  touching  dedication  is  by  a  wife  to 
her  husband.  It  was  found,  with  other  urns  and  remains,  in  the 
valley  of  San  Martino,  near  by.  Another  church  in  the  street  of  the 
little  town  contains  some  of  these  '  finds.'  A  marble  column  is  spoken 
of  as  having  been  brought  from  a  temple  of  Hercules ;  but  the  doors 
were  closed,  and  we  did  not  effect  an  entrance. 

I  should  not  omit  all  mention  of  the  church  at  Forio,  planted 
on  a  rock  jutting  out  into  the  sea,  with  a  beautiful  view,  and 
interesting  within  from  the  many  votive  offerings  of  sailors  and 
fishermen,  and  the  painted  tiles,  which  may  perhaps  be  described 
as  a  coarse  majolica  ware.  The  road  from  Barano  to  Forio  winds 
downward  above  the  heads  of  numerous  deep  ravines,  which  run 
straight  into  the  sea,  and  are  here  and  there  used  by  the  peasants 
as  wine-cellars. 

One  afternoon  the  small  boy  driver  of  our  carrozzella,  a  sharp 
urchin  of  twelve  years  old,  was  bent  on  showing  us  '  Casamicciola 
antica,'  a  melancholy  sight  indeed.  Houses  in  ruins,  a  large  church 
in  the  centre,  of  which  the  walls  only  remain  standing.  This  devasta- 
tion was  wrought  by  the  earthquake  of  1883. 

From  the  earliest  up  to  recent  times,  inhabitants  and  visitors 
have  fled  before  the  earthquakes.  The  first  settlers  in  the  island  are 
said  to  have  transferred  their  homes  to  Cumse,  on  the  opposite  shore 
of  the  mainland.  This  latest  earthquake  of  1883  has  left  many 
beautifully  situated  villas  uninjured,  but  now  scarcely  visited  by 


124  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

their  owners,  who  are  either  intimidated  by  dread  of  a  recurrence,  or 
heart-stricken  by  memories  of  relatives  and  friends  lost  or  maimed 
among  the  ruins.  I  noticed  an  unusual  number  of  lame  and  crippled 
among  the  people,  and  was  told  that  most  of  these  had  been  among 
the  victims.  Dr.  Menella  gave  us  a  touching  account  of  the  loss  of 
his  father,  buried  amid  the  ruins  of  their  house.  The  story  of  his 
leading  his  mother  away  in  safety  reminded  one  of  the  narrative  of 
the  younger  Pliny.  Menella  said  the  whole  event  remained  in  his 
mind  like  the  memory  of  a  bad  dream.  He  could  scarcely  believe 
that  it  was  his  actual  self  who  had  endured  that  time,  or  that  the 
thing  had  ever  happened. 

Hardly  less  heartrending  was  the  recital  of  the  poor  old  keeper  of 
the  cemetery,  in  which  I  know  not  how  many  of  the  gathered-in 
corpses  lie  buried.  The  old  man  lost  his  wife  and  five  children — his 
whole  family.  I  understood  him  to  say  that  the  ruins  of  his  house 
are  still  lying  among  those  we  had  just  seen  in  '  Casamicciola  antica.' 
He  related  at  length  the  prompt  visit  of  the  King  to  the  scene  of  sorrow, 
and  the  awful  task  of  the  soldiers  employed  in  digging  out  the  bodies. 
It  was  sad  to  hear  that  some  of  the  peasants  came  down  immediately 
from  the  hills  and  carried  off  money  and  valuables  from  among  the 
debris.  The  site  of  the  burial-place,  above  the  sea,  affords  a  soothing 
view  of  beauty  beyond ;  but  the  high  surrounding  walls  shut  out 
everything,  and  enhance  the  deep  depression  and  desolation  of  the 
place.  It  is  passed  on  the  road  from  Casamicciola  to  Ischia,  at  the 
foot  of  the  little  extinct  volcano  of  Monte  Rotaro. 

We  found  the  drive  to  Ischia  one  of  the  loveliest  in  the  island, 
the  sea  ever  and  anon  coming  into  sight  just  below,  deep  blue  that 
day,  with  white-plumed  billows  rising  and  vanishing  on  the  surface, 
chasing  each  other  like  evanescent  swans.  Near  the  town  arises  a 
grove  of  pine  trees.  And  here,  in  the  long  street,  is  the  Palazzo  Reale  ; 
and  here,  with  its  garden,  richly  planted  on  the  lava  stream,  is  the 
Villa  MeuricofEre. 

Built  into  and  upon  a  lofty  solitary  rock  of  volcanic  tufa  rising 
abruptly  out  of  the  sea,  at  the  end  of  a  narrow  neck  of  land,  is  the 
Castle  of  Ischia,  whose  outline  is  familiar  to  us  in  many  sketches, 
and  in  Stanfield's  grand  picture,  recently  exhibited  in  London,  the 
property  of  Lady  Wantage.  The  story  of  the  Castle  would  be  the 
history  of  the  island— long  and  distressful.  It  is  hallowed  by  the 
memory  of  Vittoria  Colonna,  '  uncanonised '  saint,  sought  by  the 
master  minds  of  Italy  in  that  eventful  period,  and  the  honoured  friend 
of  Michael  Angelo.  Her  name  is  inseparable  from  the  Castle  of  Ischia. 
Through  the  utterance  of  her  lofty  and  humble  soul,  in  the  sonnets 
and  poems  which  were  the  consolation  of  her  troubled  life,  she  may 
become  to  us  more  than  a  name  to  conjure  by.  As  poems  they  are 
of  studied  perfection.  Restrained  by  the  *  freno  dell'  arte,'  they  give 
passionate  expression  to  unchangeable  affection,  and  to  the  sublime 


1904  ISCHIA   IN  JUNE  125 

faith  and  trust  of  genuine  piety.    And.  that  she  was  sensible  to  the 
ministrations  of  the  beauty  of  Nature  we  may  see  in  her  lines  : 

Quand'  io  dal  caro  scoglio  miro  intorno 
La  terra  e  '1  ciel  nella  vermiglia  aurora, 
Quante  nebbie  nel  cor  son  nate,  allora 
Scaccia  la  vaga  vista  e  il  chiaro  giorno. 

The  volume  is   an   Italian  classic,  firmly  fixed  as   such  in  Italian 
literature  as  is  the  castled  rock  in  the  Tyrrhene  Sea. 

A.  P.  IRBY. 


126  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 


CONCERNING  SOME   OF   THE 
'EN FA  NTS   TROUVtiS*   OF  LITERATURE 


I  SUPPOSE  that  most  young  men,  even  those  who  appear  to  be  merely 
reasonable  or  hopelessly  commonplace,  have  experienced,  at  one  time 
or  another,  some  sort  of  sentimental  or  spiritual  awakening,  which 
has  rendered  them  susceptible  to  the  elevating  influences  of  poetry. 
Religious  enthusiasm,  domestic  affliction,  or  involuntary  exile  from 
the  old  familiar  places ;  a  sudden  sense  of  the  hollowness  and  muta- 
bility of  earthly  things — all  these  are  calculated  to  encourage  the 
poetic  mood,  although,  where  there  exists  any  hereditary  predisposi- 
tion, it  may  be  called  into  being  by  the  death  of  a  goldfish,  or  the 
escape  of  a  favourite  canary.  With  or  without  any  previous  training 
or  natural  capacity,  however,  it  is  particularly  apt  to  assert  itself 
when  a  chivalrous  and  susceptible  adolescent  imagines  himself,  for 
the  first  time,  to  be  really  in  love,  and  when,  as  so  often  happens, 
he  finds  that  the  course  of  his  passion  is  running  anything  but 
smooth. 

Poets,  as  we  know,  have  written  almost  exhaustively  upon  the 
subject  of  the  affections,  and  those  that  were  hopeless  or  unrequited 
have  ever  seemed  to  appeal  more  particularly  to  their  sympathies. 
So,  when  the  young  lover,  quite  by  accident,  as  may  happen,  turns  to 
the  pages  of  some  great  poet  for  solace  or  consolation,  lo  and  behold, 
he  discovers  that  even  this  choice  spirit  has  gone  through  all  the 
varied  symptoms  from  which  he  is  now  suffering  himself,  and  that  he 
has  described  them  in  the  very  same  language  that  he  would  have 
made  use  of,  if  only  the  said  choice  spirit  had  not  been  before- 
hand with  him ! 

So  many  people,  ever  since  the  very  beginning  of  the  world,  have 
been,  or  have  imagined  themselves  to  be,  in  love  !  About  love  '  pure 
and  simple,'  the  love  of  the  young  man  for  the  maiden,  it  would  seem 
to  be  very  difficult  to  write  anything  that  was  absolutely  original ; 
although,  of  course,  the  old  torments  may  be  described  in  a  new  and 
appropriate  sequence  of  words.  The  young  lover,  therefore,  can  revel 
to  his  heart's  content  in  rhythmical  combinations  and  reiterations,  ex- 
pressive of  the  state  of  his  feelings.  The  swing  of  the  metre  fascinates 


1904      'ENFANTS   TROUVtiS'    OF  LITERATURE       127 

and  enthralls  him ;  the  rhymes  haunt  him,  even  when  he  is  asleep. 
He  '  lisps  in  numbers,'  without  exactly  knowing  or  caring  whose 
numbers  they  are ;  his  whole  soul  is  as  though  flooded  with  the  music 
of  the  spheres.  His  eye  begins  '  rolling  in  a  fine  frenzy  ' ;  he  strongly 
suspects  that  he  must  have  been  born,  unwittingly,  in  '  a  golden 
clime,'  and,  by  and  by,  all  his  thrills  and  tremors  find  vent  in  a  slim 
little  booklet,  bound,  generally,  in  dark  green  linen  or  white  vellum 
(although  I  have  one  in  my  possession  which  is  bound  in  black  calico, 
whereupon  is  depicted  a  shattered  lyre,  surmounted  by  skull  and 
cross-bones),  dedicated  to  mysterious  initials,  and  published  anony- 
mously, or  under  a  nom  de  plume,  '  at  the  earnest  request  of  friends.' 
Even  as  these  remarks  may  apply  to  the  passion  of  love,  so  is  it  with 

The  measure  of  Pleasure,  the  measure  of  Glory, 
That  is  meted  out  to  a  human  lot. 

In  every  emotional  crisis  and  emergency  of  life,  there  is  always  a 
chance  that  an  enthusiastic  and  impulsive  youth  may  be  tempted  to 
express  himself  in  '  numbers  '  without  possessing  any  of  the  qualifica- 
tions which  are  essential  to  the  true  poetic  calling.  The  phase  is  an 
acute  one  ;  it  will  soon  pass  off,  but  for  the  time  being  he  feels  that  he 
is  existing  upon  a  higher  plane  than  most  of  his  workaday  neighbours, 
and  it  is  because  of  this  rapid  development  and  subsequent  evanescence 
of  mood  that  he  seems  to  be  especially  marked  out  by  destiny  for 
what  the  elder  D'Israeli  has  designated  '  a  man  of  one  book.' 

For  this  it  would  be  hard  to  blame  the  author.  Fertility  is  no 
nearer  allied  to  strength  than  prodigality  to  riches,  but  yet,  for  all 
this,  fertility  and  sterility  must  remain  two  utterly  different  things. 
From  the  point  of  view  of  the  collector,  the  '  one  book '  of  an  unsus- 
pected poetaster  may  grow,  with  time,  into  something  '  rare  and 
strange ' ;  a  source,  too,  of  never-ending  amazement,  to  those  who 
are  acquainted  with  its  author's  personality.  And,  no  doubt,  when 
he  is  comfortably  married  and  settled,  and  embarked  in  banking, 
brewing,  stockbroking,  or  what  not,  he,  too,  may  start  at  sight  of  the 
slim  green  or  white  creature  of  his  imagination  as  though  it  were  an 
asp  or  a  scorpion.  Sometimes,  fearing  lest  its  heterodox  opinions 
should  revolutionise  the  world,  or  else,  when  he  thinks  that  its  tone 
may  be  regarded  as  too  sensuous  and  redolent  of  the  '  fleshly  school,' 
he  will  endeavour  to  strangle  it,  shortly  after  its  birth,  arresting  its 
headlong  course  to  the  butterman  by  buying  up  the  very  limited 
edition  at  his  own  cost.  This  was  what  happened — a  good  many 
years  ago  now — to  the  poems  of  '  Alastor,'  only  in  that  instance, 
unless  I  am  mistaken,  it  was  the  lady-mother  of  the  aspiring  author 
who  took  the  initiative  and  bought  up  the  edition.  I  wonder  how 
many  persons  now  living  would  be  able  to  tell  me  her  name  ? 

I  have  always  felt  that  there  was  something  particularly  pathetic 
about  the  fate  of  these  poor  children  of  the  imagination  ;  mere  accidents 


128  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

as  it  were,  resulting  from  a  single  juvenile  indiscretion,  whose  parents 
are  so  often  ashamed  of  having  begotten  them,  and  who  will  never 
have  any  brothers  or  sisters ;  and  just  as  a  compassionate  mother- 
superior  might  fold  to  her  bosom  some  poor  little  esposito,  discovered, 
tied  up  in  a  bundle,  at  the  door  of  a  foundling  hospital,  I  have  always 
been  one  of  the  first  to  give  shelter  and  welcome  to  the  waifs  and 
strays  that  are  thus  cast  out  upon  a  cold  world  without  anybody  to 
'  log-roll '  them,  or  give  them  a  word  of  comfort  or  encouragement. 
There  they  stand,  safely  enclosed  in  their  comfortable  bookcase,  and 
I  feel  almost  irresistibly  impelled  to  write  about  some  of  them.  They 
have  shelf-mates,  too,  with  whom  I  have  kindly  permitted  them  to 
rub  shoulders  (alas,  with  no  hope  of  any  possible  contagion !),  trans- 
parently anonymous,  the  identity  but  flimsily  veiled,  or  else,  wearing 
fearlessly  the  proud  cognisance  of  their  illustrious  parentage  :  a  pre- 
sentation copy  of  The  Wanderer,  and  of  the  beautiful  Love-Sonnets 
of  Proteus  ;  poems  of  the  late  Lord  De  Tabley,  with  those  of  Mr. 
Theodore  Watts-Dunton  (his  splendid  Ode  upon  the  burial  of  Cecil 
Rhodes  not  yet  incorporated  with  them) ;  and  to  some  of  these  treasures 
it  will  be  difficult  for  me  not  to  allude,  seeing  them  thus  ranged  on 
high  whenever  I  look  upwards.  As,  however,  the  more  accomplished 
singers  here  represented  have  already  found  appreciative  critics  far 
abler  than  I  am  to  sound  their  praises,  I  shall  endeavour  to  confine 
myself  as  much  as  possible  to  the  study  of  my  little  nursery  of 
foundlings. 

As  is  so  often  the  case,  how  alike  they  all  are,  at  a  first  glance,  not 
only  in  dress,  but  in  most  of  their  prominent  features !  They  have 
the  pinched,  attenuated  aspect  of  things  that  have  been  starved, 
and  baby-farmed,  and  treated  ungenerously,  and  so  take  up  but  little 
room  upon  one's  shelves ;  and  when  they  do  not,  as  often,  breathe 
entirely  of  earthly  passion,  or  are  not  merely  weak  invertebrate 
imitations  of  Rudyard  Kipling,  Conan  Doyle,  or  Adam  Lindsay 
Gordon,  and  others,  rollicking,  bacchanalian,  or,  it  may  be,  patriotic, 
how  terribly  and  hopelessly  melancholy  they  are  apt  to  be  with  the 
morbid  and  lugubrious  despair  of  the  later  French  decadents,  whose 
felicity  of  expression,  however,  has  been  cruelly  denied  them  :  a  form 
of  melancholy  which  seems  to  be  the  almost  inseparable  accompani- 
ment of  intellectual  youth  in  the  age  in  which  we  are  living. 

Poor  Maurice  Rollinat  with  his  Apparitions,  his'  Nevroses,  his 
Spectres,  and  his  Tenebres,  has  just  made  his  tragic  final  exit.  But, 
a  disciple  himself,  he  has,  like  his  master,  Baudelaire,  a  numerous 
following  in  this  country.  In  the  index  of  the  little  black-hound 
volume  of  which  I  have  already  made  mention,  and  which  belongs  to 
what  I  may  appropriately  call  '  the  death's  head  and  cross-bones ' 
school  of  poetry,  I  find  several  evidences  of  this.  Here  we  have  Ode 
to  a  Dead  Body,  The  Corpse,  The  Suicide,  &c.,  whilst  there  is  something 
gruesome,  in  another  book  by  the  same  author,  which  is  evidently 


1904      'ENFANTS   TROUVES'   OF  LITERATURE       129 

derived  from  the  loves  of  Les  deux  Poitrinaires.  These  volumes, 
however,  are  merely  mentioned  parenthetically,  and  must  on  no 
account  be  confounded  with  any  of  those  that  are  housed  in  my 
nursery  of  enfants  trouves.  Rather  would  I  compare  them,  in  the 
language  of  Le  Sieur  de  Brantome,  to  des  batards  de  grande  famille, 
the  result  of  a  mere  passing  flirtation  with  the  muse,  of  one  who  has 
come  to  be  a  redoubtable  critic  and  a  powerful  writer  of  the  realistic 
school,  but  who  has  yet  permitted  them  to  bear  his  name  upon  their 
title-pages.  Perhaps  they  do  not  pretend  to  be  anything  more  than 
free  translations,  after  all  ? 

In  the  beautiful  sequence  of  poams  entitled  A  Shropshire  Lad,  and 
which  again  I  only  venture  to  allude  to  by  way  of  a  verification,  for 
here  we  are  confronted  with  the  work  of  a  true  poet,  this  note  of  latter- 
day  sadness  is  particularly  accentuated.  The  genius  of  the  author 
communicates  it  to  the  reader,  and  we  lay  down  the  volume  oppressed 
by  a  sense  of  haunting  despondency  at  thought  of  what  has  been  so 
persistently  and  mercilessly  reiterated  : 

Let  me  mind  the  house  of  dust 
Where  my  sojourn  shall  be  long, 

and  where,  to  quote  an  exquisite  final  verse  :  > 

Lovers  lying  two  by  two 

Ask  not  whom  they  sleep  beside ; 
And  the  bridegroom  all  night  thro' 

Never  turns  him  to  the  bride. 

By  this  concentration  of  thought  upon  the  obvious  and  inevitable 
end  of  all,  we  are  led  to  assume  that  Mr.  A.  E.  Housman  is  still  young. 
Like  the  traditional  eels,  that  were  said  to  have  become  used  to 
the  skinning  process,  the  older  thinkers  have  already  realised  '  the 
tragedy  of  Condemnation  and  Reprieve,'  and  have  endeavoured  to 
make  the  best  of  it,  though  to  neither  young  nor  old  can  the  idea  be 
altogether  exhilarating.  There  is  a  Spanish  proverb  which  says  that 
'  Death,  like  the  sun,  should  not  be  looked  at  too  fixedly,'  and  surely 
its  *  rapture  of  repose,'  so  beautifully  described  by  one  who  was  yet 
sufficiently  infected  with  the  melancholy  of  his  time  to  write  as  though 
all  the  joys  of  earth  had  come  to  an  end  with  his  thirty-third  year, 
is  more  profitable  and  comforting  to  dwell  upon  than 

La  pourriture  lente  et  1'ennui  du  squelette. 

Even  Maurice  Rollinat  has  admitted  that  there  is  always  cremation  ! 
Mr.  A.  E.  Housman,  however,  is  not  to  be  counted  amongst  the 
'  men  of  one  book,'  and  I  am  in  hopes  that  so  accomplished  a  singer 
will  soon  cease  to  derive  his  chief  inspirations  from  the  creak  of  the 
gibbet  and  the  odour  of  the  charnel-house.  Another  young  poet, 
whose  last  book  I  have  just  opened,  and  one  who  is  also  endowed 

VOL.  LVI— No.  329  K 


130  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

with  the  true  poetic  gift,  concludes  thus  a  poem  which  is  entitled 

Ennui : 

The  sun  has  stink  into  a  moonless  sea 
And  every  road  leads  down  from  Heaven  to  Hell, 
The  pearls  are  numbered  on  Youth's  rosary, 
I  have  outlived  the  days  desirable. 
What  is  there  left  ?     And  how  shall  dead  men  sing 
Unto  the  loosened  strings  of  Love  and  Hate, 
Or  take  strong  hands  to  Beauty's  ravishment  ? 
Who  shall  devise  this  thing  ? 
To  give  high  utterance  to  Miscontent, 
Or  make  Indifference  articulate  ? 

Whilst,  elsewhere  in  the  same  volume,  he  thus  deliberately  invites 
those  very  emotions  which  (if  we  except  the  first  of  them)  have  ever 
been  regarded  by  the  majority  of  mankind  as  their  most  unwelcome 
guests ; 

0  Love  !     0  Sorrow  !     O  desired  Despair  1 

1  turn  my  feet  towards  the  boundless  sea, 
Into  the  dark  I  go  and  heed  not  where, 
So  that  I  come  again  at  last  to  thee  ! 

But  I  must  return  from  poets  of  a  higher  plane  to  my  waifs  and 
strays.  Here  is  an  anonymous  singer  who  makes  his  '  indifference 
a-rticulate  '  in  the  following  lines  : 

WThat  have  I  here  to  live  for  ?     What  the  goal 

I  reach  at  length  by  nearing  day  by  day  ? 
What  is  the  composition  of  the  soul 

That  fails  to  guide  me  with  its  flickering  ray  ? 

Another  young  poet — for  I  have  a  shrewd  suspicion  that  he  must 
l)e  young — would  have  preferred  to  have  remained 

A  protoplasmic  substance,  undefined, 
Floating  upon  the  bosom  of  the  deep, 

and  never  to^have  been  born  into  the  world  at  all.  He  is  indignant  at 
the  impertinence  of  his  own  incarnation,  without  so  much  as  a  '  with 
your  leave  or  by  your  leave,'  though  how  to  stand  upon  ceremony 
with  '  a  protoplasmic  substance,  undefined,'  it  is  difficult  to  imagine. 

Here  is  the  angry  protest  of  yet  another  anonymous  bard,  who, 
I  fancy,  from  his  style,  must  be  even  younger  still : 

Why  was  I  born,  I  often  ask, 

Into  this  world  of  Death  and  Doubt  ? 

To  con  an  uncongenial  task  ? 

I  can't  make  out  I  I  can't  make  out ! 

I  had  despised  so  mean  a  boon  ; 

The  life  I  share  with  boor  and  lout, 
But '  ah  the  die  was  cast  too  soon  '  I 

My  heart  moans  out,  my  heart  moans  out  I 


1904     'ENFANTS   TROUVtiS'   OF  LITERATURE      131 

There  is  generally  more  spirit  and  joie  de  vivre  about  verses  of  this 
calibre  when  the  writer  has  availed  himself  of  the  ballad  form,  about 
which  there  is  generally  a  certain  jauntiness  of  movement,  or  when 
he  condescends  to  deal  with  historical  subjects,  however  distorted, 
because  he  is  then  obliged,  for  the  time  being  at  least,  to  get  outside 
his  own  personal  sensations,  and  to  cease  preying,  as  it  were,  upon  his 
own  vitals. 

From  a  small  volume  of  Jacobite  songs,  printed  some  years  ago, 
and  then  suppressed  possibly  out  of  deference  to  the  feelings  of  the 
reigning  Royal  family,  for  I  have  never  chanced  upon  it  since,  I 
cull  the  following  gem.  The  lines  are  expressive  of  the  passionate 
love  of  Flora  Macdonald  for  '  the  Young  Pretender,'  with  whom,  in 
spite  of  her  loyal  devotion,  her  relations  are  known  to  have  been 

purely  platonic  : 

Oh,  Charlie,  Charlie  !  with  thy  face 

So  comely  and  bewitching  1 
Of  royal  race,  thy  princely  grace 

Has  set  nay  poor  heart  itching  ! 

An  '  itching '  or  a  '  moaning  out  '  heart :  which  of  the  two  would 
be  the  more  undesirable  possession  ?  '  I  can't  make  out !  I  can't 
make  out !  ' 

Very  different  in  quality  is  the  spirited  ballad  of  Perkin  Warbeck, 
which  I  find  in  the  distinguished  collection  of  poems  entitled  The  City 

of  the  Soul. 

At  Turnay  in  Flanders  I  was  born, 

Fore-doomed  to  splendour  and  sorrow, 
For  I  was  a  king  when  they  cut  the  corn 
And  they  strangle  me  to-morrow  ! 

Thus  laments  poor  Perkin  in  the  opening  verse,  by  which  it  will  be 
apparent  that  the  poet  accepts  the  orthodox  historic  version  of  his 
story. 

I  was  nothing  but  a  weaver's  son, 

(he  is  made  to  confess  later  on  in  the  ballad), 

I  was  born  in  a  weaver's  bed, 
My  brothers  toiled  and  my  sisters  spun, 
And  my  mother  wove  for  our  bread. 

Had  this  been  fully  proved,  all  would  have  been  plain  sailing,  and 
the  hero  of  the  poem  would  not  have  shared  with  the  '  Man  in  the  Iron 
Mask '  the  doubtful  honour  of  ranking  still  as  one  of  the  most  im- 
penetrable mysteries  of  European  history,  for  there  are  many  people 
now  living  who  believe  that  he  was  indeed  '  the  milk  White  Rose  of 
York '  after  all,  in  spite  of  the  confession  extorted  from  him  when  in 
prison  by  the  astutest  of  our  Henries.  Who  can  decide,  at  this 
distance  of  time,  when,  as  I  read  in  my  morning  paper,  '  grave  doubts  ' 
exist  as  to  the  death  in  the  Temple  of  a  much  more  modern  scion  of  ill- 
fated  royalty — the  unhappy  little  Louis  XVII.,  for  whose  coffin  a  search 

K  2 


132  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

is  even  now  being  made  '  in  the  cemetery  in  which  he  was  probably 
buried,  in  order  to  try  and  settle,  once  for  all,  the  question  whether  it 
was  the  poor  little  King  or  another  who  was  buried  there '  ?  There 
are  '  Perkin  Warbecks '  too,  in  America,  I  am  informed,  quite  ready  to 
prove  that  they  are  descended  from  this  later  royal  captive ;  and  where 
so  much  difference  of  opinion  exists  as  to  '  how  history  was  written ' 
in  the  eighteenth  century,  I  feel  that  it  would  be  rash  indeed  to  make 
sure  of  what  may  or  may  not  have  happened  in  the  reign  of  the  first  of 
the  Tudors. 

Be  this  how  it  may,  here  are  two  charming  verses.  '  Perkin '  is, 
again  lamenting  his  hard  fate  : 

For  I  was  not  made  for  wars  and  strife, 

And  blood  and  slaughtering, 
I  was  but  a  boy  who  loved  his  life, 

And  I  had  not  the  heart  of  a  king. 

Oh !  why  hath  God  dealt  so  hardly  with  me, 

That  such  a  thing  should  be  done, 
That  a  boy  should  be  born  with  a  king's  body 

And  the  heart  of  a  weaver's  eon  ? 

By  a  process  of  thought-transference  which  will  be  obvious  to  the 
initiated,  I  am  here  reminded  of  the  terrible  Ballad  of  Reading  Gaolr 
with  its  splendours  and  inequalities  ;  its  mixture  of  poetic  force,  crude 
realism,  and  undeniable  pathos.  Perhaps  this  hard-featured  offspring 
of  genius,  begotten  in  shame  and  misfortune,  ought  not,  appropriately y 
to  keep  company  with  the  pretty  effeminate  weaklings  of  which,  for 
the  most  part,  my  collection  consists,  but  there  it  is,  nevertheless, 
standing  out,  in  wan  and  ghastly  pre-eminence,  upon  the  shelf,  its 
brow  indelibly  branded  with  the  stigma  of  the  '  Broad  Arrow.'  The 
genesis  of  the  poem  is  fraught  with  tragic  interest.  It  is  dedicated  by 
the  author  (a  man  of  letters,  and  a  poet  of  culture  and  refinement, 
who  unfortunately  became  subject,  through  his  own  delinquencies, 
to  the  rigours  of  the  law)  to  the  memory  of  a  trooper  of  the  Royal 
Horse  Guards,  one  '  Woolridge '  or  '  Wolredge '  (as  I  have  lately 
learnt) :  a  handsome  good-for-nothing  scoundrel,  though  a  smart 
soldier  when  sober,  who,  after  a  career  of  drink  and  dissipation, 
ended  by  cutting  the  throat  of  his  wife  (a  deserving  young  woman, 
who  supported  herself  by  dressmaking  at  Windsor)  with  a  razor, 
which  he  took  down  with  him  from  Knightsbridge  Barracks  for  the 
purpose.  For  this  crime,  as  we  read  in  a  preface  to  the  ballad,  he 
was  hanged  at  Reading  Gaol  on  the  7th  of  July,  1896.  Oddly  enough, 
the  first  line  of  the  poem  contains  an  inaccuracy,  due,  perhaps,  to  its 
author's  Celtic  origin : 

He  did  not  wear  his  scarlet  coat, 
For  blood  and  wine  are  red, 

&c.     As  we  are  particularly  informed,  upon  the  fly-leaf,  that  the  con- 
demned man  had  been  a  trooper  in  the  Blues,  he  would  certainly  not 


1904     'ENFANTS   TROUVtiS"   OF  LITERATURE      133 

have  worn  a  '  scarlet  coat '  even  if  blood  and  wine  had  changed  to 
some  abnormal  colour !  This  error,  however,  which  it  would  have 
been  easy  enough  to  correct,  in  no  way  interferes  with  the  interest  of 
the  poem.  There  is  no  joie  de  vivre  here  ;  none  of  the  careless  abandon- 
ment of  the  ordinary  narrative  ballad.  All  is  grim,  concentrated 
tragedy,  from  cover  to  cover.  A  friend  of  mine,  who  looked  upon 
himself  as  a  judge  of  such  matters,  told  me  once  that  he  would 
have  placed  certain  passages  in  this  poem,  by  reason  of  their 
terrible  tragic  intensity,  upon  a  level  with  some  of  the  descriptions  in 
Dante's  Inferno,  were  it  not  that '  The  Ballad  of  Reading  Gaol  was  so 
much  more  infinitely  human ' ! 

Let  those  who  are  inclined  to  smile  at  such  a  comparison  read  it 
through,  from  beginning  to  end,  and  then  judge  for  themselves.  For 
my  own  part,  an  impression  of  hopeless  and  helpless  human  agony 
haunted  me  for  days  after  reading  it  for  the  first  time :  an  effect 
which  a  descent  into  the  Inferno  has  certainly  never  yet  produced 
upon  me,  although  I  have  heard  the  groaning  swing  of  the  great 
bronze  doors  at  St.  John  Lateran  which  are  said  to  have  suggested 
to  the  immortal  Florentine  the  door  over  which  was  written  these 
terrible  words,  '  di  colore  oscuro,' 

Lasciate  ogni  speranza,  voi  che  'ntrate. 

For  Dante's  august  poem  is  open,  to  some  extent,  to  the  criticism 
which  Sainte-Beuve  applies  to  Paradise  Lost.  The  whole  thing  is 
imaginary  from  beginning  to  end  :  a  quality  common  to  most  works  of 
genius,  it  may  be  said,  only  that  of  this,  in  the  present  instance,  for  all  its 
beauty  and  magnificence,  the  reader  is  conscious  from  the  first.  Even 
what  I  may  call  the  most  '  infinitely  human '  incident  of  the  Divina 
Commedia — an  incident  of  everyday  occurrence  in  our  own  times,  to 
which  poets  and  dramatists  have  clung  with  so  much  tenacity — has, 
I  fear,  been  a  good  deal  coloured  by  the  poet's  luxuriant  imagination. 
An  Italian  savant,  'who  had  investigated  the  matter  at  Rimini  and 
elsewhere,  assured  me  quite  lately  that  Francesca  must  have  been  at 
least  forty-five  years  old  at  the  time  of  her  supposed  act  of  infidelity, 
which  (even  assuming  that  it  ever  occurred,  a  very  doubtful  matter) 
the  brothers  Malatesta  treated  with  unconcern,  dwelling  together 
afterwards  in  perfect  harmony,  whilst  the  lady  died  peacefully  in  her 
bed  at  a  good  old  age.  I  hope  with  all  my  heart  that  this  was  not  the 
case  !  Early  illusions  are  precious  things,  and  hard  to  part  with,  and 
for  me,  at  least,  the  guilty  couple  will  continue  to  float  on  together 
through  space,  for  all  time — as  depicted  in  the  well-known  painting  by 
Ary  Scheffer — transfixed  by  the  same  rapier,  as  I  saw  Signora  Duse 
transfixed,  with  the  young  gentleman  who  acted  the  role  of  Paolo, 
after  sitting  for  five  mortal  hours  at  the  Costanzi  Theatre,  at  Rome, 
during  the  first  night's  performance  of  Gabriele  d'  Annunzio's  recent 
drama.  But  this  is  a  digression. 


134  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  July 

The  author  of  The  Ballad  of  Reading  Gaol  essentially  a  {  sensitive,' 
learning  what  is  to  be  the  doom  of  the  unfortunate  trooper,  who  takes 
his  exercise  in  the  same  yard,  though  '  in  another  ring,'  has  thoroughly 
imbued  himself  with  his  feelings,  or  with  what  he  conceives  that  they 
must  be,  and  imagines,  probably  wrongly,  that  all  his  fellow- prisoners 
are  similarly  impressed.  Here  is  a  graphic  description  of  '  the  man 
who  has  to  swing  ' : 

He  walked  amongst  the  Trial  Men 

In  a  suit  of  shabby  grey ; 
A  cricket  cap  was  on  his  head 

And  his  step  seemed  light  and  gay ; 
But  I  never  saw  a  man  who  looked 
So  wistfully  at  the  day. 

I  never  saw  a  man  who  looked 

With  such  a  wistful  eye 
Upon  the  little  tent  of  blue 

Which  prisoners  call  the  sky, 
And  at  every  drifting  cloud  that  went 

With  sails  of  silver  by. 

The  miserable  sensations  of  a  condemned  felon  are  communicated 
to  the  reader's  mind  in  all  their  gruesome  intensity.  It  was  /,  and  no 
other  (or  so  I  felt  whilst  reading),  who  had  to  '  die  a  death  of  shame, 
on  a  day  of  dark  disgrace  ' ;  to  have  '  a  noose  about '  my  neck  and '  a 
cloth  upon  my  face,'  and  to  *  drop  feet  foremost,  through  the  floor, 
into  an  empty  space ' ;  I  became,  for  the  time  being,  one  of  those 
'  souls  in  pain '  whose  fate  it  is,  as  a  beginning  of  the  end,  to 

...  sit  with  silent  men 

Who  watch  him  night  and  day  ; 
Who  watch  him  when  he  tries  to  weep, 

And  when  he  tries  to  pray, 
Who  watch  him  lest  himself  should  rob 

The  prison  of  its  prey. 

The  shivering  Chaplain  robed  in  white, 

The  Sheriff,  stern  with  gloom, 
And  the  Governor,  all  in  shiny  black, 

With  the  yellow  face  of  Doom. 

All  these  seemed  to  be  gathering  round  me  in  the  flesh  in  the  hour  of 
my  agony,  whilst 

The  hangman,  with  his  gardener's  gloves, 
Slipped  through  the  padded  door. 

Then,  too,  how  wonderfully  vivid  is  the  description  of  the  long  night 
before  the  condemned  man's  execution,  when,  as  we  read  : 

Crooked  shapes  of  Terror  crouched 

In  the  corner  where  we  lay ; 
And  each  evil  sprite  that  walks  by  night 

Before  us  seemed  to  play  ; 


1904      'ENFANTS   TROUVES'   OF  LITERATURE       135 

They  glided  past,  they  glided  fast, 

Like  travellers  through  a  mist : 
They  mocked  the  moon  in  a  rigadoon 

Of  delicate  turn  and  twist. 

What  is  a  '  rigadoon '  ?  Some  kind  of  weird,  diabolical  taran- 
tella ?  Perhaps  I  am  writing  myself  down  ignoramus,  but  I 
candidly  confess  that  I  never  heard  of  one  before,  and  I  am  all  the 
more  impressed  by  the  word  because  I  have  no  notion  of  its  correct 
meaning.  La  femme  aime  Vinconnu  (as  a  wise  and  witty  French- 
man has  justly  remarked),  so  a  '  rigadoon,'  whatever  kind  of  measure 
it  may  be,  will  always  have  a  certain  mysterious  fascination  for  me, 
until,  as  may  happen,  it  becomes  a  fashionable  cotillon  figure  at  balls 
and  soirees  dansantes. 

Let  us  turn  to  something  less  lugubrious,  even  if  it  be  less  '  infinitely 
human.' 

Words  of  this  description,  which  begin  by  being  merely  far-fetched 
and  unusual,  and  which  hence  seem  to  be  fraught  with  something  of 
occult  significance  to  sensitive  minds  and  ears,  have  always  been 
extremely  popular  not  only  with  the  young  '  men  of  one  book,'  but 
with  their  intellectual  superiors.  I  inquired,  the  other  day,  of  a 
singularly  intelligent  little  girl  of  seven  years  old,  what  she  took  to 
be  the  true  meaning  of  the  word  '  poetry.'  She  was  silent  for  some 
time,  and  then  said,  as  after  due  reflection  :  '  I  think  it  must  mean 
beautiful  words,  and  looking  upwards '  :  a  relief  to  me,  I  confess, 
for  I  had  felt  almost  certain  that  she  would  have  fancied  that  poetry 
consisted  in  rhyme  ! 

The  definition  is  not  at  all  a  bad  one,  for,  in  spite  of  certain  modern 
innovators  who  take  a  different  view,  '  beautiful  words,'  combined 
with  the  power  of  looking  at  life  from  a  standpoint  inaccessible  to  the 
multitude,  must  ever  go  far  towards  the  making  of  a  true  singer. 
But  surely  the  most  important  thing  of  all  must  be  that  the  poet 
should  be  endowed  with  that  far-reaching  human  sympathy  which 
enables  its  possessor  to  receive  and  assimilate  the  subtle  influences 
which  produce  no  impression  upon  more  stolid  natures,  and  which 
engenders  the  precious  faculty  de  tout  comprendre  et  de  tout  pardonner, 
and  this  the  most  '  beautiful  words  '  in  our  language  are  powerless  to 
supply ! 

The  introduction  of  words  which,  independent  of  actual  beauty, 
were  archaic,  and  out  of  date,  was  made  fashionable  in  poetry  some 
thirty  or  forty  years  ago  by  a  great  singer,  whose  voice  has  not  been 
very  long  silent,  and  of  whom  we  read — in  the  interesting  biography 
published,  after  his  death,  by  his  distinguished  brother — that  he  kept 
a  whole  list  of  them  in  reserve,  to  be  called  to  the  front,  like  emergency 
men,  when  the  occasion  seemed  to  require  it.  I  can  thoroughly 
sympathise  with  the  magic  spell  of  the  pre-Raphaelite  movement : 
with  the  peace,  and  reverence,  and  far-off,  holy  calm  with  which  a 


136  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

return  to  '  the  primitive  '  in  Art  or  Literature  is  prone  to  inspire  certain 
exceptional  spirits,  and  so  have  more  patience  than  most  of  my  neigh- 
bours with  the  so-called  '  affectations  '  of  this  particular  school. 

Lo,  only  a  few  strokes,  it  may  be,  of  an  ordinary  '  J  '  pen,  and  the 
present,  with  its  fret  and  turmoil,  its  shrieking  and  snorting  trains, 
'  trams,'  and  abominable  motor-cars,  seems  to  shrivel  up  and  dis- 
appear like  a  decayed  bat's  wing  !  Once  more  we  are  in  pieno  quattro- 
cento, revelling  in  the  vague  iridescent  hues  of  early  pots,  cathedral 
window-panes,  and  faded  embroideries,  or  in  the  cruder  smalts,  and 
chromes,  and  dead  gold  of  the  old  illuminators.  There  is  no  '  gold 
reef  city,'  no  '  De  Beers  Consolidated  Diamond  Company,'  and  the 
diamonds  of  Brazil,  with  the  rubies  of  Burmah  and  Ceylon,  very  seldom 
find  their  way  to  Europe.  In  the  very  old  days — say  about  B.C.  41 — 
Cleopatra,  as  we  know,  was  possessed  of  a  pair  of  pearl  earrings, 
which,  judging  by  a  picture  I  have  seen  representing  her  in  the  act  of 
dropping  one  of  them  into  a  goblet  in  order  that  she  may  drink  it  off 
as  a  toast  to  Mark  Antony,  must  have  been  unusually  fine  specimens 
of  their  kind.  But  then  we  must  remember  that  she  was  a  queen 
and  a  Ptolemy — a  family  celebrated  for  their  learned  and  artistic 
tastes — beloved,  too,  of  the  mightiest  conqueror  in  the  world,  who, 
for  aught  we  know,  may  even  have  fished  up  the  gems  in  far-off 
Britain,  his  recent  conquest,  and  to  which,  we  read  with  some  surprise, 
he  was  originally  attracted  by  the  reputation  it  had  acquired  for  the 
beauty  of  its  pearls.  For  a  person  of  so  much  consideration,  slaves 
were,  no  doubt,  delving  and  diving  all  over  the  world  with  the  object 
of  gratifying  her  slightest  whim.  Long  after  the  second  Triumvirate, 
however,  Oriental  pearls  and  jewels  of  the  first  quality  were  only 
'  casual '  in  their  appearance  and  unattainable  save  to  the  monarch 
upon  his  throne.  Dame  or  '  damozel '  of  the  Middle  Ages,  therefore, 
who  wished  to  set  off  her  '  trailing  robes  of  samite  or  brocade,'  had 
to  content  herself  with  gems  of  inferior  value,  such  as  we  may  meet 
with,  even  now,  roughly  encrusted  in  ancient  chalices,  or  in  the  massive 
bindings  of  early  missals.  In  an  old  family  document  to  which  I 
lately  obtained  access,  a  necklace  of  carnelian  '  cut  in  tables '  is 
deemed  worthy  of  being  handed  down  to  posterity  as  an  heirloom, 
and  to  such  jewels,  each  one  emblematic  of  some  particular  virtue, 
the  young  poets  who  are  the  apostles  of  sham  medievalism  are  wont 
to  give,  perhaps,  a  somewhat  undue  pre-eminence,  chiefly  because,  in 
so  many  instances,  their  names  consist  of  rare  and  '  beautiful  words,' 
which  minister  to  their  craving  for  the  ideal.  Thus, 
Beryl  is  a  liquid  gem  ; 
Bright  and  pure  as  when  a  beam 
Cleaveth  water  .  .  . 

writes  one  of  our  modern  pre-Raphaelites,  in  a  little  volume  which 
lies  open  before  me  ; 

Amethyst ;  a  place  is  set 
For  its  lovely  violet,  &c.  &c. 


1904     'ENFANTS   TROUVtiS'   OF  LITERATURE      137. 

Then,  too,  we  have  the  '  onyx '  and  the  '  sardonyx,'  the  *  chalce- 
dony '  and  the  *  chrysoprase,'  though,  for  obvious  reasons,  not 
unconnected  with  the  exigencies  of  rhyme,  some  of  our  latter-day 
singers  are  apt  to  prefer,  for  the  ending  of  their  lines,  the  mysterious 
'  chrysolite,'  which  is,  amongst  gems,  even  as  is  the  '  asphodel '  in  the 
poet's  flower  garden. 

Chrysolite  for  goodness  doth 
Sparkle  like  an  oven's  mouth, 

I  read  in  the  same  little  volume,  and  here  it  is  thrown  in  gratuitously 
and  entirely  independent  of  rhyme. 

We  said  things  wonderful  as  chrysolites, 

writes  the  accomplished  author  of  The  City  of  the  Soul,  from  which 
I  have  already  quoted,  and  where  we  also  read  of  a  sword  fashioned 
of  the  same  perishable  material. 

The  above  verses,  in  spite  of  a  few  doubtful  rhymes,  are  full  of 
spiritual  suggestiveness.  All  that  is  vulgar,  sensual,  '  of  the  earth, 
earthy,'  seems  to  crumble  away  and  perish  as  we  read.  Nor  is  the 
book  from  which  I  have  made  most  of  these  extracts  one  of  those 
fatherless  foundlings  to  whom  I  have  given  a  home  merely  out  of 
charity.  The  author  of  its  being  has  set  his  name  upon  the  title- 
page  like  a  man ;  but,  alas,  this  is  its  sole  claim  to  virility !  The 
contents  are  emasculate  and  disappointing  for  all  their  prettiness, 
besides  being — as  the  late  Mr.  A.  W.  Kingiake  remarked  of  a 
certain  Parliamentary  candidate — '  very  considerably  tainted  with 
purity.' 

After  all,  the  world  is  not  wholly  composed  of  saints  and  ascetics. 
There  are  healthy  as  well  as  wwhealthy  yearnings  in  the  human  heart, 
which  even  such  pure  gems  as  the  chrysolite  are  powerless  to  satisfy  ! 

*  What  man  is  there  of  you,  of  whom  if  his  son  ask  bread,  will  he  give 
him  a  stone  ?  '     It  is  a  case  of  '  beautiful  words  and  looking  upwards  ' 
with  a  vengeance.     We  are  almost  tempted  to  wish  that  the  poet  had 
looked  downwards  sometimes   for    a    change,  and  picked  up  some- 
thing a  little  more  '  infinitely  human,'  even  if  he  chanced  upon  it  in 
the  gutter  ! 

Still,  '  good  '  and  '  wonderful,'  indeed,  is  the  *  chrysolite  '  if  it  can 
illuminate  the  souls  of  the  sadder  of  our  poets  with  its  '  oven-mouth  ' 
sparkle,  and  lead  them  thus  decorously  and  discreetly  towards  the 

*  realms  of  the  higher  fancy.'     I  cannot  say  that  I  ever  remember  to 
have  set  eyes  upon  one  myself  ! 

Occasionally,  when  these  green  or  white  firstfruits  of  genius  seem 
to  their  creators  to  be  too  slim  and  ephemeral  to  bear  the  rude  buffets 
of  '  this  world  of  Death  and  Doubt,'  they  are  padded  out  with  a 
romance  in  blank  verse,  or  in  rhymed  heroic  measure,  divided  into 
'  parts '  or  *  cantos.'  It  is  from  such  a  volume,  and  one  that  was 


138  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

not  published  anonymously,  either,  that  I  quote  the  following  descrip- 
tion of  the  heroine  : 

A  line  of  beauty  did  the  eyebrows  trace, 
And,  like  the  Grecian  fair  one,  down  her  face 
In  a  straight  line,  her  scenting-organ  sped. 

(The  italics  are  my  own.)  Alas,  poor  '  scenting-organ ' !  But  for 
the  immortal  line  describing  thee  as  '  tip-tilted  like  the  petal  of  a 
fiow'r,'  how  seldom  hath  honourable  mention  been  made  of  thee  in 
Poesy !  Eyes,  lips,  ears,  hair,  with  many  etceteras,  have  come  in  for 
almost  more  than  their  fair  share  of  notice  and  approbation,  and  yet, 
without  thee,  of  what  account  are  any  of  them  ?  Whilst,  when  thou 
surpassest  thy  ordinary  dimensions  by  one-fourth  part  of  the  traditional 
inch  that  is  said  to  be  so  much  '  upon  a  man's  nose,'  the  courage  and 
chivalry  of  Cyrano  de  Bergerac  himself  can  scarcely  persuade  us  to 
tolerate  thee,  even  upon  the  boards  of  the  Parisian  stage  ! 

This  is  the  same  young  lady — she  of  the  '  scenting-organ ' — of 
whom  we  read  in  the  same  poem  that  her 

•  .  •  forth-bursting  proved  her  mother's  death. 

Once  more  we  are  treading  upon  the  solid  earth.  We  descend,  as 
it  were,  with  a  thud,  from  the  '  realms  of  the  higher  fancy ' ;  from 
the  *  protoplasmic  substance  undefined  '  ;  '  indifference  articulate  '  ; 
from  '  onyx  '  and  '  sardonyx,'  '  chalcedony  '  and  '  chrysolite  '  ;  from 
the  aesthetic  atmosphere  of  those  who  wander  aimlessly  in  the  fields 
of  asphodel  after  having  breakfasted  off  the  '  Bodley  bun.' 

And  yet  these  lines,  for  all  their  seeming  absurdity,  result  in 
reality  from  '  looking  upwards,'  and  straining  after  the  'perfection  of 
expression  which  seems  to  demand  the  employment  of  '  beautiful 
words.'  '  Dilatation,'  '  exaltation  of  spirit ' — we  may  call  it  what  we 
like — an  inspiration  '  of  sorts,'  are  not  wanting,  but  the  author  has 
not  been  endowed  with  the  faculty  of  discrimination,  and  so  all  these 
go  for  naught.  Still,  the  man  who  can  so  far  forget  himself  and  his 
ordinary  traditions  as  to  allude  to  a  nose  as  a  '  scenting-organ,'  whilst 
incurring,  it  may  be,  the  ridicule  of  '  the  great  uninspired,'  has  soared 
in  spirit  to  regions  that  are  far  beyond  reach  of  the  arrows  of  their 
scorn,  where  to  describe  the  feature  in  question  by  its  usual  name 
would  seem  almost  like  an  insult  and  a  sacrilege.  When  he  can  bring 
himself  to  call  a  nose  '  a  nose '  again,  he  will  have  fallen  once  more 
to  earth,  where,  I  fancy,  judging  from  the  rest  of  the  contents  of  his 
book,  he  is  likely  to  abide  for  ever.  How  precious,  therefore,  should 
be  the  outward  and  visible  sign  of  his  brief  trial  trip  into  the  Empyrean, 
if  things  become  valuable  merely  by  reason  of  their  rarity,  which 
everything  leads  us  to  believe  that  they  do  ! 

Some  of  these  slender  little  volumes  contain,  indeed,  the  subli- 
mated essence  of  their  authors'  poetical  being.  We  hold  in  our  hands, 


1904     'ENFANTS   TROUVfiS'   OF  LITERATURE      139 

as  we  read  them,  a  part  of  the  man's  nature  which  bears  no  sort  of 
resemblance  to  his  material  self,  as  we  may  come  to  know  it  when 
once  he  has  '  reverted  to  the  briar.'  His  '  material  self  '  we  may  meet, 
probably,  as  often  as  we  choose,  if  such  meetings  can  afford  us  any 
satisfaction.  We  may  see  it  stout,  prosperous,  complacent,  hailing 
cabs  or  omnibuses  with  the  well-furled  umbrella  of  conventional 
respectability,  and  little  suspecting  that,  for  all  this,  we  know  for 
certain  that  '  in  the  days  that  are  done  '  it  became  responsible — at  the 
instigation  of  that  other  '  self,'  which  is  now  dead  and  departed — for 
some  such  verses  as  the  following  : 

Our  passions  sustain  us,  and  move 

To  the  motion  of  instinct  desire ; 
With  the  rhythmical  anguish  of  love, 

And  the  heaving  of  tremulous  fire. 

The  thirst  unassuaged  yet  unsloken 

Will  be  drowned  in  the  fiercest  delight, 
And  love  will  be  rent  and  be  broken 
And  kissed  out  of  feeling  or  sight. 

(Only  this  is  an  exceedingly  favourable  example.) 

But  I  might  as  well  endeavour  to  describe  the  features  and  com- 
plexions of  a  whole  regiment  of  soldiers,  together  with  those  of  their 
commanding  officers — for  all  the  minds  represented  in  my  collection 
are  by  no  means  upon  an  equality — as  to  set  down  the  characteristics 
of  each  one  of  the  separate  volumes  upon  my  inconveniently  crowded 
shelves.  I  have  quoted  from  barely  a  dozen  of  them,  and  already 
time  and  space  are  coming  to  an  end,  and  yet  there  they  stand — 
many  more — in  their  serried  lines,  and  I  am  not  at  all  sure 
that  I  ought  not  to  have  given  precedence  to  some  that  I  have  left 
quite  unnoticed,  and  whose  lettered  backs,  to  my  sensitive  eye,  seem 
suddenly  to  have  assumed  a  piqued  and  offended  expression. 

Then,  too,  there  are  the  ladies,  the  female  poets,  illustrious  and 
obscure,  to  whom  I  have  not  even  ventured  to  allude,  but  about 
whom  I  should  like  to  say  just  a  few  words  by  way  of  conclusion. 

Mr.  George  Moore,  in  his  Avowals,  says  that  woman  '  excels  in 
detail,  but  never  attains  synthesis,  not  being  herself  synthesic  '  (sic) ; 
and,  furthermore,  that '  it  were  well  that  the  fact  were  fully  recognised 
that  the  presence  of  women  in  art  is  waste  and  disappointment.' 

Not  for  worlds  would  I  enter  into  controversy  with  Mr.  George 
Moore,  feeling  sure  that  I  should  be  worsted,  and  fearing  that  then 
he  might  call  me  bad  names — '  small,  weakly  creature,  ridiculously 
shapen,  &c.  &c.,'  as  upon  p.  328  of  the  March  number  of  the  Pall 
Mall  Magazine — or  declare,  perhaps,  that  I  cooked  *  inadequately  ' — 
a  reproach  that  would  really  strike  home,  since  one  cannot  help  regard- 
ing cooking  (adequately  or  'inadequately'),  even  in  these  enlightened 
days,  as  rather  more  of  a  woman's  legitimate  vocation  than  Art  or 
Literature.  What  I  would  venture  to  say,  however,  is  that  when  we 


140  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

take  into  consideration  her  limitations — the  very  limitations  alluded 
to  by  Mr.  George  Moore — it  has  always  struck  me  that,  when  a  woman 
is  impelled  to  depart  from  her  natural  mission — the  mission  of  cooking 
*  inadequately,'  let  us  say — and  to  plunge  into  pathways  which  lead 
only  to  *  waste  and  disappointment,'  her  '  call '  must  be  much  more 
definite  and  imperative  than  the  'inspiration'  of  a  man,  although, 
according  to  Mr.  George  Moore,  the  result  is  always  so  unsatisfactory. 

A  man,  fresh  from  a  successful  career  at  one  of  our  great  Universi- 
ties, the  swing  and  rhythm  of  Greek  and  Latin  verses  still  ringing  in 
his  ears,  and  imbued,  it  may  be,  with  the  works  of  the  master- singers 
of  antiquity,  finds  little  difficulty,  even  if  he  be  not  a  truly  inspired 
poet,  in  tossing  ofi  couplet  or  epigram,  if  only  with  the  object  of 
killing  time  upon  a  wet  day,  or  when,  perhaps,  there  is  nothing 
else  to  kill  with  rod  or  gun,  and  so  may  be  induced  to  write  very 
respectable  derivative  verse  merely  from  a  feeling  of  ennui.  He  has 
striven,  perhaps,  when  he  was  at  Oxford,  for  the  '  Newdigate ' ; 
possibly  he  may  even  have  obtained  it.  This  is  enough  to  stimulate 
any  literary  ambition.  Why  should  not  the  author  of  Ravenna 
aspire  to  the  same  honours  that  were  showered,  eventually,  upon  the 
head  of  the  author  of  Timbnctoo,  seeing  that  the  two  prize  poems  are 
'  much  of  a  muchness '  as  regards  their  intrinsic  value  ? 

But  it  is  altogether  different  with  a  woman.  Ten  to  one  that, 
with  a  few  noteworthy  exceptions,  she  knows  little  or  nothing  of  the 
immortal  poets  of  antiquity,  and  has  never  breathed,  even  in  fancy, 
the  stimulating  atmosphere,  or  trod 

.  .  .  the  thymy  pasture -lands 
Of  high  Parnassus. 

Even  when  she  is  not  a  professional  cook  or  mere  household  drudge, 
compelled  to  pore  over  weekly  accounts  or  darn  the  holes  in  the 
family  linen,  she  has  so  many  other  ways  of  profitably  passing  her 
time,  so  many  urgent  demands  upon  her  sympathy  and  attention, 
particularly  when  she  is  blessed,  or  encumbered,  with  noisy  human 
offspring  !  The  '  inspiration '  must  be  a  very  potent  one  which  can 
induce  her  to  neglect  her  so-called  '  duties,'  even  her  so-called  *  plea- 
sures,' sometimes,  in  order  that  she  may  be  able  to  satisfy  her  so- 
called  '  poetic '  yearnings.  She  need  never  write,  at  any  rate,  simply 
from  a  feeling  of  ennui. 

And  yet  how  decently  our  female  poets  have  acquitted  themselves 
in  the  glorious  reign  which  has  but  recently  come  to  a  close  !  (In  the 
face  of  our  stern  critic  I  dare  use  no  more  enthusiastic  terms.)  From 
Mrs.  Browning  (the  '  hen-bird,  singing  to  its  mate,'  of  Mr.  George 
Moore,  and  to  whom  my  remarks  about  a  defective  classical  education 
do  not,  of  course,  apply)  to  the  refined  and  graceful  author  of  Opals, 
there  is  not  much  to  complain  of  in  the  quality  or  finish  of  their 
work. 


1904     'ENFANTS  TROUVES'   OF  LITERATURE       141 

Daphnis  and  Chloe,  with  other  impossible  shepherds  and  shep- 
herdesses of  the  past,  have  almost  entirely  disappeared  from  our 
midst,  together  with  the  paste-board  flocks  of  an  artificial  Arcadia 
(though  we  may,  perhaps,  purchase  the  history  of  their  pastoral  loves 
*  traduit  du  Grec  par  M.  Amiot  et  un  anonyms,  for  the  sake  of  its 
binding  by  Derome,  or  its  petits  pieds  '  inventts  et  peints  par  la  main 
de  S. A. R.  Philippe  Due  d 'Orleans,  Regent  de  France*).  But  that  the 
more  subtle  and  imperishable  Hellenic  influences  still  survive — influ- 
ences which  inspired  Homer  and  Hesiod  long  before  the  plague  of 
Egyptian  myths  and  fables — is  made  apparent  whenever  we  turn  to 
the  writings  of  the  greatest  of  our  living  bards,  and  to  these  the  more 
cultivated  of  our  modern  female  poets  have  been  by  no  means  insensible. 
Not  to  mention  the  '  hen-bird  singing  to  its  mate,'  the  late  Jean  Inge- 
low,  to  whom  we  are  indebted  for  that  fine  poem  The  High  Tide  upon 
the  Coast  of  Lincolnshire,  is  also  the  author  of  Persephone,  with  its 
haunting  musical  refrain ;  Mrs.  Pfeiffer,  Mrs.  Meynell.  Miss  Mary 
Robinson  (who,  I  am  told,  prefers  still  to  be  known  by  the  maiden 
name  in  which  she  achieved  her  first  triumphs),  have  all  gone  to  the 
fountain-head  for  their  inspiration,  whilst  I  have  often  thought  how 
proud  and  pleased  '  the  great  god  Pan  '  might  well  have  been, 
Down  in  the  reeds  by  the  river, 

could  he  have  only  foreseen  that,  even  in  these  far-off,  practical  days 
of  '  bike '  and  *  motor,'  he  would  find  an  enthusiastic  admirer  and 
apologist  in  the  charming  Lady  Margaret  Sackville  ! 

And  yet  Mr.  George  Moore  says  that  we  are  not  '  synthesic,'  and, 
what  is  more,  that  we  can  never  become  so !  ...  Being,  unfortunately, 
a  woman  myself,  and  knowing  all  our  little  ways,  I  will  go  a  step 
further  than  Mr.  George  Moore,  and  wager  that  comparatively  few 
of  us  are  even  aware  of  the  derivation  or  correct  significance  of  the 
term.  But  then  this  is  just  what  makes  me  so  particularly  proud  of 
my  sex,  although  it  is  one  that  has  been  imposed  upon  me  without 
the  asking.  We  can  make  our  omelets  without  eggs,  and  our  bricks 
without  straw,  and  the  omelets  are  really  quite  eatable,  and  the  bricks 
tolerably  substantial,  for  all  that.  This  is  our  own  precious  secret, 
a  '  woman's  privilege,'  and  that  it  should  make  some  people  rather 
provoked  with  us  I  can  perfectly  well  understand. 

MARY  MONTGOMERIE  CURRIE. 


142  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 


INTERNATIONAL   QUESTIONS  AND    THE 
PRESENT   WAR 


THE  present  war  has  already  been  fruitful  in  novel  questions  of  inter- 
national law.    A  few  of  the  many  special  questions  which  have 
arisen  in  consequence  of  the  changed  conditions  of  modern   warfare 
I  propose  discussing.    But  before  doing  so  I  touch  upon  some  of  the 
larger  aspects   of  this  war,  interesting  to  the  jurist  and  likely  to 
reappear  in  the  future.     One  of  them  is  the  change  to  be  noted  in 
the  policy  of  neutrals  in  regard  to  the  action  of  belligerents  at  sea :  a 
change  in  a  movement  which  has  long  been  going  on.  and  an  un- 
expected result  or  concomitant  of  the  growth  of  large  armaments. 
For  some  years  the  development  of  maritime  international  law  pro- 
ceeded along  one  line.    The  supremacy  of  the  Navy  of  this  country 
was  either  taken  for  granted  as  natural  in  view  of  its  possessions 
and  dependence  for  food  upon  foreign  supplies,  or  the  day  when  this 
supremacy  was  to  be  overthrown  was  regarded  as  distant  and  un- 
certain.   The  other  chief  States  of  the  world,  possessing  great  armies, 
were  resigned,  for  a  time  at  least,  to  England's  predominance  at  sea. 
In  these  circumstances  the  laws  of  war  at  sea  were  moulded  by  two 
forces  :  England  pressing  hard  and  exaggerating  the  rights  of  belliger- 
ents, while  other  Powers  were  the  champions  of  the  rights  of  neutrals. 
They  favoured  '  free  ships  making  free  goods.'     They  were  jealous  of 
the  exercise  of  the  right  of  search ;  France  carrying  that  jealousy  to 
the  point  of  suffering  for  many  years  the  slave  trade  to  flourish  in 
certain  waters  rather  than  British  cruisers  should  exercise  this  right, 
and  again  in  1887  declining  to  be  a  party  to  the  much-needed  con- 
vention for  the  suppression  of  the  sale  of  liquor  among  North  Sea 
fishermen   by   the  keepers    of   floating   public-houses,  rather  than 
sanction  '  a  derogation  of  the  fundamental  principles  of  our  public 
maritime  law.' l     Those  Powers  refused  to  recognise  cruiser  blockades, 
or  blockades  of  which  there  has  been  no  notification.     They  were, 
on  the  whole,  though  with  oscillations  in  practice,  in  favour  of  a  strict 
limitation  of  contraband  to  articles  directly  of  use  in  war  as  against 
the  comprehensive  conception  recognised  by  England.     If  there  did 

1  Report  of  Commission  of  Chamber  of  Deputies,  1892. 


1904         QUESTIONS  ON  THE  PRESENT  WAR          143 

not  always  exist  in  form  an  armed  neutrality,  there  was  a  standing 
array  of  interests  on  the  side  of  neutrals.  There  was  a  cloud  of  writers 
of  the  stamp  of  Dupuis  and  Hautefeuille  who  denounced  the  egotism 
and  tyranny  of  England.  On  the  whole,  until  the  latter  half  of  lasj; 
century  the  belligerents  had  the  best  of  it.  There  was  some  truth  in 
M.  Dupuis's  remark :  '  Dans  le  compromis  que  le  droit  des  gens 
tend  a  realiser  entre  les  interets  contradictoires  des  belligerants  et  des 
neutres,  le  balance  risque  fort  de  pencher  toujours  quelque  peu  du 
cote  des  premiers.' 2 

But  from  1856,  when  England  surrendered  one  of  the  sharpest  of 
her  weapons,  there  was  a  shrinkage  in  belligerent  rights.  They  were 
asserted,  it  is  true,  with  somewhat  of  the  old  force,  though  in  new 
forms,  in  1861-64  by  the  United  States.  But,  on  the  whole,  since  that 
time  the  disposition  has  been  to  insist  that,  peace  being  the  normal 
order  of  things,  the  interests  of  neutrals  should  prevail  in  a  conflict 
with  those  of  belligerents  ;  that,  for  example,  the  intercourse  between 
nations  by  mail  steamers  and  otherwise  should  be  little  obstructed ; 
that  only  munitions  of  war  and  the  like  should  be  treated  as  contra- 
band ;  and  that  blockades  should  be  respected  only  if  they  were  strictly 
efficacious.  It  would  seem,  however,  as  if  there  was  a  recovery  in 
belligerent  rights.  Perhaps  that  is  only  the  inevitable  outcome  of  a 
naval  war ;  belligerents  using  every  weapon  in  their  power,  and 
neutrals  not  being  organised  or  pressing  collectively  with  equal  spirit 
and  zeal  their  interests.  Perhaps  it  is  a  consequence  or  natural  con- 
comitant of  great  armaments.  Several  States  possessing,  or  aspiring 
to  possess,  powerful  navies  able  to  cope,  single-handed  or  jointly,  with 
any  fleet ;  the  supremacy  at  sea  of  any  Power  being  regarded  as 
dangerous  ;  the  value  of  '  sea  power  '  as  a  factor  in  warfare  realised  as 
it  never  was  before,  there  is  a  rise  in  belligerent  rights  ;  a  reluctance 
to  propose  or  assent  to  any  declaration  which  may  fetter  the  action 
of  the  States  which  have  not  hitherto  possessed  maritime  power,  but 
which  may  one  day  acquire  it.  If  I  am  not  misinformed,  more  than 
one  Government  has,  on  the  advice  of  its  experts,  refrained  from 
speaking  distinctly  as  to  recent  acts  which  on  the  face  of  them 
seemed  to  conflict  with  the  plain  interests  of  neutrals.  On  the  outlook 
for  what  is  to  their  advantage,  they  do  not  know  what  it  may  prove 
to  be.  There  is  reluctance  to  do  anything  which  might  hinder 
Governments  in  the  event  of  war  doing  all  that  expediency  may  in 
unforeseen  circumstances  dictate  as  to  wireless  telegraphy  or  sub- 
marine cables.  At  the  opening  of  this  century  there  seems  to  be 
what  there  was  at  the  beginning  of  last  century,  an  exaggeration  of 
maritime  belligerent  rights  ;  with  this  difference — it  is  an  exaggeration 
all  round.  : 

I  note  a  second  peculiarity  of  this  war,  and  one  which  has  already 
produced  much  perplexity  and  confusion  and  with  far-extending  con- 
2  R.  G,  do  Droit  International,  1903,  p.  342. 


144  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

sequences.     Usually  belligerents  fight  on  belligerents'  soil.     If  they 
make  war  on  the  soil  of  neutrals,  they  in  effect  make  war  on  the  latter, 
or  give  cause  for  the  latter  doing  so.     The  very  basis  of  international 
law  is  the  assumption  that  each  nation  is  master  in  its  own  house, 
that  its  territory  is  to  be  respected.     But  in  the  present  contest  this 
is  ignored;  all  is  confusion  ;   it  is  hard  to  make  out  who  are  bellige- 
rents and  what  is  neutral  soil.    It  is  true  that,  with  spheres  of  in- 
fluence,   protectorates    and   suzerainties,    and   military  occupations, 
with  such  anomalies  as  the  administration  of  Cyprus,  Egypt,  and 
Bosnia,  ideas  on  this  point  are  not  as  clear  as  they  once  were.    We 
have  seen  of   late   so   much   interference   by   strong   States   in  the 
affairs  of  the  weak  in  the  name  of  European  concert  that  one  might 
at  times  fancy  the  days  of  the  Congress  of  Vienna  and  the  '  European 
police '  then  exercised  over  the  weak  had  returned.    Things  were 
topsy-turvy  in  China  when  the  Allies  in  1900-1,  declaring  that  they 
were  not  at  war  with  her,  killed  her  soldiers  and  occupied  her  capital. 
Manchuria,  which  is  occupied  by  Russia,  is  still  an  integral  part  of 
the  Chinese  Empire.    Yet  it  is  treated  in  many  ways  as  if  it  were  not 
occupied  militarily  but  actually  annexed.      Its  inhabitants,  Chinese 
subjects,  are  compelled  to  guard  the  Siberian  railways.     Korea  has 
been  alternately  a  protectorate  of  Japan  and  China.    Nominally  there 
subsisted  a  treaty  by  which  Japan  renounced  its  sovereign  rights  and 
declared  Korea  to  be  a  sovereign  State,  the  King  subsequently  pro- 
claiming   himself    Emperor   in    manifestation  of  his  independence. 
Korea,  probably  under  pressure,  has  since  the  war  concluded  a  con- 
vention with  Japan :   a  strange  incident  in  a  war  avowedly  begun 
for  the  securing  of  the  independence  of  the  former.     Instead  of  con- 
forming, as  in  theory  might  have  been  expected,  to  the  articles  in  the 
Hague  Convention  relating  to  military  occupation,  both  Powers  have 
treated  Korea  from  the  outset  very  much  as  if  it  were  belligerent 
soil.    Nor  is  it  satisfactory  to  say  '  Korea  is  outside  the  region  of 
international  law.'   That  simplifies  the  problems  here  touched,  but  only 
by  ignoring  the  difficulties.     Nice  questions  of  private  law  will  arise 
in  these  circumstances.     Suppose  that  munitions  of  war  were  sent  to 
Seoul ;    may  they  be  lawfully  seized  as  contraband,  an  essential  of 
which   is   that  they  are  going   directly  or  eventually  to  a  hostile 
destination  ?      Would  a  prize  court  condemn  them,  and   neutrals 
acquiesce  in  such  a  decision  ?      It   is   probable  that  courts  would 
look,  as  is  their  inclination  nowadays,   to  the  actual  condition  of 
things,  and  have  regard  to  the  State  which  in  fact  controlled  the 
situation,   without    reference  to  the  titular  sovereign  Power.     But 
what  is  happening  there  opens  up  prospects  prejudicial  to  smaller 
States.     '  Buffer  States '  in  particular  are  likely  to  have  a  bad  time  of 
it  in  future  wars.     The  assumption  of  the  equality  of  the  States  of 
the  world,  always  a  fiction,  promises  to  become  an  absurdity. 

I  note  a  further  characteristic  of  this  war :  a  set  of  facts  lying 


1904        QUESTIONS   ON  THE  PRESENT   WAR         145 


perhaps  outside  the  domain  of  international  law,  but  affecting  some  of 
its  problems.  Hitherto,  at  the  opening  of  almost  every  war,  whether 
the  parties  to  it  were  civilised  or  not,  it  has  unconsciously  been  deemed 
necessary  to  resort  to  an  artifice  or  expedient  in  order  to  create  (if 
I  may  say  so)  the  sort  of  atmosphere  in  which  two  nations  of  ordinary 
humanity  can  contemplate  in  calmness  or  without  remorse  the  suffer- 
ings inflicted  upon  an  adversary  by  war — that  monster,  to  quote 
Bossuet's  words,  '  le  plus  cruel  que  1'enfer  a  jamais  vomi  pour  la 
mine  des  hommes.'  Only,  it  would  seem,  when  racial  hatred  had 
been  thus  roused  could  the  work  be  done  with  satisfaction.  And  so 
it  has  often  been  the  self-imposed  mission  of  a  certain  class  of  writers 
to  spread  and  foster  the  notion  that  the  people  opposed  to  their  own 
were  cruel,  or  barbarous,  or  repulsive  in  their  habits,  or  somehow  odious. 
Almost  regularly  at  the  opening  of  almost  every  war  there  has  been 
a  flight  of  such  calumnies ;  the  lie  patriotic  being  the  necessary  con- 
comitant of  a  declaration  of  hostilities.  It  is  matter  of  history  that 
men  of  genius  have  stooped  to  this  ignoble  traffic  in  slander.  It  is 
a  lasting  regret  to  the  admirers  of  Mommsen  that  he  penned  an  epistle 
containing  insults  to  the  French  people  in  their  bitter  hour,  and  that 
there  came  from  Paris  retorts  equally  calumnious.  And  as  war  has 
gone  on,  there  has  generally  been  developed  greed  for  stories,  for  the 
most  part  unsupported  by  credible  evidence,  to  the  prejudice  of  the 
foe  and  about  his  treachery  and  his  cruelty.  Now,  so  far,  there  has 
been  little  or  nothing  of  the  kind.  Both  sides  recognise  the  virtues 
of  their  opponents.  They  speak  of  their  bravery  and  their  kindness 
to  the  wounded ;  and  there  have  been  fewer  allegations  of  abuse  of 
the  white  flag  than  was  ever  probably  known. 

What  will  be  the  outcome  of  this  ?  These  good  signs  may  dis- 
appear if  the  business  drags  on  ;  but  it  is  a  new  factor  in  war  that  the 
spurious  and  artificial  racial  hatred  which  has  almost  always  accom- 
panied it  is  absent  at  the  beginning.  Not  more  remarkable  is  the 
swift  assimilation  by  Japan  of  the  resources  of  military  science  than 
the  assimilation,  rapid  and  complete,  of  the  best  traditions,  the 
courtesies  and  amenities  of  European  warfare.  Experience  shows 
that  if  hostilities  are  long  continued,  passions  kept  in  check  at  last 
break  loose  ;  the  vanquished  are  irritated  and  desperate  ;  the  victors 
become  impatient  at  resistance  unreasonably  continued.  But,  so  far 
as  things  have  gone,  one  may  say  that  a  non-Christian  State  has  set  an 
example  to  Christian  nations  in  the  conduct  of  war  (as  far  as  it  is 
possible)  on  the  lines  of  civilisation.  The  superior  prestige  of  the 
West  for  humanity  is  gone.  Touches  of  humanity  and  sympathy, 
never  wanting  in  war,  have  abounded.  The  Japanese  have  tended 
their  wounded  adversaries,  and  have  resorted  to  no  shabby  subter- 
fuges ;  and  on  the  death  of  Admiral  Makaroff  they  paid  the  tribute 
of  brave  men  to  a  fallen  foe.  They  have  paid  for  what  they  have 
taken.  They  have  made  friends  of  the  population  in  which  they 
VOL.  LVI — No.  329  L 


146  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

moved.  Already  the  ring  of  European  nations  whose  consent  has 
made  international  law  is  broken  in  upon  by  the  admission  of  Turkey 
and  Japan.  International  law  cannot  be  quite  what  it  was  if  it 
henceforth  expresses  the  consent  of  powerful  Asiatic  non-Christian 
States  as  well  as  of  European  nations. 

The  last  general  remark  to  be  made  is  this :  In  view  of  the  swift 
fate  of  the  Petropaulovsk  and  Japanese  transports — hundreds  of  men 
destroyed  as  if  by  an  earthquake  or  a  volcanic  outburst  such  as  that 
of  Mount  Pelee — is  there  any  limit  in  modern  warfare  to  the  use  of 
destructive  agencies  which  chemistry  may  devise,  provided  they  are 
effective  ?     The  committee  which,  in  1847,  rejected  Lord  Dundonald's 
scheme  for  destroying  by  poisonous  gases  or  other  agencies  whole 
armies  and  garrisons,  did  so  mainly  on  the  ground  of  humanity; 
it  did  not '  accord  with  the  feelings  and  principles  of  civilised  warfare/ 
Would  a  military  committee  of  to-day  have  the  same  scruples  ?     The 
Duke  of  Wellington's  objection  to  the  scheme  was  '  Two  can  play  at 
that  game.'    Lord  Dundonald's  retort,  '  Yes,  but  the  first  of  the  two. 
wins,'  might  be  deemed  convincing.    With  torpedoes  and  submarine 
mines  regarded  as  part  of  *  good  war,'  it  seems  almost  squeamish  to* 
stop  at  anything.     All  the  Powers  at  the  Hague  except  the  United 
States  were  against  the  use  of  shells  containing  asphyxiating  gases. 
But  there  was  weight  in  Admiral  Mahan's  contention  '  that  it  was 
illogical  and    not    demonstratively    humane    to    be    tender    about 
asphyxiating  men  with  gas  when  all  were  prepared  to  admit  that  it 
was  allowable  to  blow  the  bottom  out  of  an  ironclad  at  midnight, 
throwing  four  or  five  hundred  men  into  the  sea  to  be  choked  by  water, 
with  scarcely  the  smallest  chance  of  escape.'    The  compromise  which 
the  usages  of  war  have  made  between  what  was  allowable  and  what 
was  not  was  never  quite  reasonable  ;  it  differs  capriciously  as  to  land 
and  sea ;  it  does  not  rest  on  any  real  ethical  distinction,  but  is  the 
outcome  of  historical  accidents  and  traditions  ;  a  strange  mixture  of 
caste  and  general  morality  ;  it  now  seems  to  be  hopelessly  absurd. 

Of  the  special  questions  which  have  pressed  to  the  front  since  last 
February,  few  are  yet  sufficiently  ripe  for  speaking  positively  about 
them.  What  Colonel  Lonsdale  Hale  calls  '  the  fog  of  war '  hangs  thick 
over  them,  and  will  not  completely  rise  until  it  is  over.  One  obscure 
point  concerns  neutrals.  If  half  of  what  is  stated  with  respect  to 
the  sale  of  vessels  or  munitions  of  war  taking  place  in  Germany  and 
Chili  be  true,  there  will  be  a  serious  case  for  compensation.  To  be 
sure,  so  far  the  mercantile  marine  of  Japan  has  not  suffered  much 
from  these  purchases,  if  real.  But  if  cruisers  traceable  to  German 
ports  are  fitted  out  or  sold  to  Russia,  it  would  require  little  ingenuity 
to  figure  out  a  heavy  claim  for  losses  and  expenses  attributable  to 
these  vessels.  History  seems  to  show  that  the  result  of  such  demands 
against  neutrals  depends  on  the  measure  of  military  success  of  the 
belligerent.  The  victor  in  war  has  a  way  of  succeeding  in  arbitrations. 
At  the  outset  of  hostilities  was  raised  a  delicate  question,  too 


lightly  settled  by  many  who  professed  to  speak  in  the  name  of  inter- 
national law.  A  formal  declaration  is  not  needed  to  constitute  a 
state  of  war,  with  all  the  results  to  neutrals  and  belligerents  ; 3  and  in 
modern  times  such  a  declaration  has  been  rather  the  exception  than 
the  rule.  With  actual  hostilities  at  once  arise  all  the  rights  and 
duties  of  belligerents  and  neutrals.  But  this  does  not  completely 
dispose  of  the  question  which  has  arisen,  or  justify  every  attack  by 
surprise.  International  law  offers  no  excuse  for  such  acts  as  the 
invasion  of  the  Palatinate  by  Louis  XIV.,  or  of  Silesia  by  Frederick 
the  Great,  without  warning,  formal  or  otherwise.  An  attack 
without  intimating,  directly  or  indirectly,  that  a  refusal  of  demands 
is  to  be  followed  by  war,  is  criminal  in  the  forum  of  the  jurist  as  it  is 
according  to  the  consciences  of  plain  men.  Some  clear  indication  of 
what  is  the  alternative  to  denial  of  demands  is  admitted  to  be  essential 
to  loyal  warfare.  About  the  5th  of  February  the  Japanese  Government, 
after  a  long  delay  of  which  they  had  apparently  good  cause  to  com- 
plain, recalled  their  Ambassador,  and  notified  interruption  of  diplo- 
matic relations — a  state  of  things  which  is  not,  of  course,  neeessarily 
equivalent  to  a  state  of  war,  and  has  not  always  been  followed  by  it. 
On  the  night  of  the  8th  or  9th  Admiral  Togo  torpedoed  the  Russian 
vessels  at  Port  Arthur.  It  was  an  attack  of  surprise.  Was  it  a 
treacherous  and  disloyal  act  ?  The  question  must  be  put  with  the 
knowledge  that  a  nation  which  is  patient  may  be  duped ;  that  the 
first  blow  counts  much ;  and  that  under  cover  of  continuing  negotia- 
tion a  country  unprepared  might  deprive  another  better  equipped  of 
its  advantages.  But  it  is  a  nice  question  whether  the  negotiations 
had  reached  on  the  8th  or  9th  of  February  a  point  at  which  discussion 
had  been  abandoned,  and  both  sides  had  accepted  the  arbitrament  of 
.battle.  I  will  only  say  that  the  recent  precedent  is  of  evil  omen,  and 
that  it  is  to  be  feared  that  in  future  we  may  see  blows  struck,  not 
merely  without  formal  notice,  but  while  diplomatists  are  still  debating. 
I  am  not  expressing  an  opinion  on  the  particular  act  in  saying  that 
there  has  been  an  unfortunate — perhaps  inevitable — retrogression. 
Since  1870  there  has  been  a  tendency  to  abide  by  the  old  rule,  which 
.regarded  a  war  without  a  declaration  or  ultimatum  as  disloyal.  For 
example,  notice  was  given  by  Montenegro  to  Turkey  in  1876,  by 
Russia  to  Turkey  in  1878,  and  by  the  United  States  to  Spain  in  1898. 
In  the  absence  of  trustworthy  information  there  is  little  use  dis- 
cussing the  charge  against  the  Russians  of  sowing  at  haphazard  mines 
in  the  open  sea  to  the  peril  of  neutral  shippers.  The  facts  are  alto- 
gether controverted,  and  we  must  wait  until  the  reports  of  the  com- 
manders of  neutral  fleets  are  forthcoming.  The  probability  is  that 

3  This  is  not  universally  admitted.  M.  Fillet  (Les  Lois  Actttelles  de  la  Guerre, 
1.  64)  says : — '  Une  guerre  sans  declaration  n'est  pas  une  guerre  loyale.'  See  Clunet, 
1904,  257.  Writing  in  La  Libre  Parole  with  reference  to  the  outbreak  of  hostilities, 
M.  Drumont  says  :— '  Le  droit  international  a  ve"cu  !  ' 

L  2 


148  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUBY  July 

such  mines  were  placed  in  the  waters  contiguous  to  Port  Arthur,  and 
in  bad  weather  drifted  out  to  sea ;  which  happened  to  the  Russian 
mines  laid  in  the  Baltic  in  1856  ; 4  an  accident  which  might  give  rise  to 
claims  for  compensation  by  injured  neutrals,  just  as  might  injuries 
done  by  stray  shots  or  by  torpedoes  or  submarine  boats. 

Of  the  special  questions  which  this  war  has  brought  forward  the 
most  perplexing  is  that  of  wireless  telegraphy.  It  confronts  inter- 
national lawyers  before  they  have  made  up  their  minds  what  to  say 
as  to  the  rights  and  duties  of  belligerents  in  regard  to  submarine  cables. 
Their  position  in  time  of  war  has  been  more  than  once  discussed  at 
international  conferences.  But  no  rules  have  so  far  been  generally 
adopted  by  nations.  The  Cable  Conference  of  1884  declined  to  go 
into  the  matter ;  Article  15  of  the  Convention  says :  '  II  est  bien 
entendu  que  les  stipulations  de  la  presente  convention  ne  portent 
aucune  atteinte  a  la  liberte  d'action  des  belligerants.'  Apart  from  the 
difficulties  inherent  in  adapting  old  rules  to  this  new  mode  of  com- 
munication, a  powerful  instrument  of  war  as  well  as  a  servant  of 
peace,  there  is  another  in  the  disposition  to  regard  the  matter  as  if  it 
were  a  question  of  England  against  the  rest  of  the  world.  She  possesses 
or  controls  a  large  part  of  the  existing  cables ;  many  of  them  pass 
through  or  touch  her  territory ;  and  there  is  force  in  the  contention 
that :  '  Dans  1'etat  actuel  des  communications  telegraphiques  le  monde 
entier  est  le  tributaire  de  la  Grande  Bretagne,  car  c'est  a  Londres 
qu'aboutissent  la  plupart  des  fils  qui  relient  PEurope  aux  autres 
Continents.' 5 

The  Institut  de  Droit  International  in  1879  adopted  a  resolution 
that  in  time  of  war  cables  connecting  neutral  countries  were  inviolable. 
At  its  meeting  in  Brussels  the  Institut  passed  a  series  of  resolutions 
which  probably  express  the  general  understanding  as  to  what  is  right 
and  proper.  After  reaffirming  the  inviolability  of  cables  connecting 
neutral  territories,  the  Institut  added  : 

Le  cable  reliant  les  territoires  de  deux  belligerants  ou  deux  parties  du  terri- 

4  See  Earp's  Sir  Charles  Napier's  Campaign  in  the  Baltic,  pp.  132,  165,  276. 

*  B.  G.  de  Droit  International,  1901,  p.  682.  I  quote  for  what  it  is  worth  the 
statement  of  M.  Bey :  '  En  1870,  la  notification  de  la  declaration  de  guerre  n'est 
transmise  a  1'escadre  d'extreme-Orient  qu'apres  avoir  et6  communique'e  aux  navires  de 
commerce  allemands  a  ce  moment  dans  les  ports  chinois.  Lors  de  la  campagne  du 
Tonkin,  en  1885, 1'Angleterre  se  procure  la  clef  du  chiffre  employ^  par  le  Gouverne- 
ment  francais,  et  prend  avant  celui-ci  connaissance  des  de"p£ches  de  1'Amiral  Courbet ; 
de  m£me,  en  1893,  les  instructions  envoyees  &  1'Amiral  Humann  au  conflit  franco- 
Siamois  sont  communiquees  au  Foreign  Office  par  les  compagnies  anglaises  chargees 
de  les  transmettre.  En  1888,  un  telegramme  du  Gouvernement  du  Congo  au  Hoi  des 
Beiges  au  sujet  de  1'exp^dition  Stanley-Emin  Pacha  est  connu  par  la  presse  anglaise 
avant  d'etre  parvenu  a  destination ;  il  en  est  de  meme  du  succes  de  ['expedition  du 
General  Duchesne  a  Madagascar  en  1895.  Enfin,  en  1894,  la  mort  du  Sultan  du 
Maroc,  susceptible  d'entrainer  de  graves  complications,  est  dissimule'e  vingt-quatre 
heures  aux  Gouvernements  inte"resses  pendant  que  le  Ministre  d'Angleterre  a  Tanger, 
pour  correspondre  avec  le  Foreign  Office,  occupe  pendant  une  nuit  entiere  le  cable 
anglais,  qui  seul  reliait  alora  le  Maroc  au  reste  du  monde."  (R.  G.  de  Droit  Inter- 
national, 1901,  p.  683.) 


1904       QUESTIONS  ON  THE  PEE  SENT   WAR         149 

toire  d'un  des  belligerants  peut  etre  coupe  partout,  excepte  dans  la  mer  territoriale 
et  dans  les  eaux  neutralisees  dependant  d'un  territoire  neutre. 

Le  cable  reliant  un  territoire  neutre  au  territoire  d'un  des  belligerants  ne 
pent  en  aucun  cas  etre  coupe  dans  la  mer  territoriale  ou  dans  les  eaux  neutra- 
lisees dependant  d'un  territoire  neutre.  En  haute  mer,  ce  cable  ne  peut  etre 
coupe  que  s'il  y  a  blocus  effectif  et  dans  les  limites  de  la  ligne  du  blocus,  sauf  re- 
tablissement  du  cable  dans  le  plus  bref  delai  possible.  Ce  cable  peut  toujours 
etre  coupe  sur  le  territoire  et  dans  la  mer  territoriale  dependant  d'un  territoire 
ennemi  jusqu'aune  distance  de  troismilles  marins  de  la  baisse  de  basse-mare'e. 

Few  of  those  who  discuss  the  subject  dwell  sufficiently  upon  the 
differences  between  contraband  or  quasi-contraband  and  vessels 
conveying  the  same  and  telegrams  and  submarine  cables.  Telegraphic 
communications  may  be  called  quasi-contraband.  But  you  do  not 
seize  a  vessel  because  it  may  be  carrying  contraband ;  you  do  not 
destroy  it  if  it  does ;  you  do  not  confiscate  it  if  the  owner  has  acted 
innocently.  Transmitting  messages  to  belligerents  may  be  likened  to 
breaking  a  blockade.  But  the  analogy  is  faint.  You  do  not  destroy 
vessels  which  may  break  it;  you  do  not  capture  them,  unless  the 
blockade  is  effective.  In  a  maritime  war  a  cable  is  something  sui 
generis.  A  belligerent  cannot  exercise  over  it  any  right  similar  to  that 
of  search ;  it  may  be  an  instrument  of  war  much  more  important  than 
a  cargo  of  contraband  or  a  blockade-runner ;  the  fact  to  be  recognised 
is  that  he  may  be  safe  only  if  he  cuts  it.  The  hesitation  of  States 
unable  to  foresee  circumstances  in  which  interruption  to  cable  com- 
munications might  be  vital  to  them  is  natural.  Looking  to  what  may 
hang  upon  telegraphic  communication — transports  intercepted,  a  fleet 
destroyed,  the  fate  of  a  campaign  [affected — it  is  too  much  to  expect 
belligerents  always  to  keep  within  the  four  corners  of  the  rules  which 
I  have  quoted.  There  will  be  circumstances,  it  may  be  anticipated,  in 
which  they  will  not  suffer,  if  they  can  help  it,  a  telegraphic  cable,  no 
matter  who  is  the  owner  or  what  are  its  termini,  to  be  used  to  their 
detriment.  To  whatever  rules  they  assent  will  probably  be  added 
the  sacramental  formula,  '  So  far  as  circumstances  permit.' 

I  put  less  trust  in  rules  which  there  may  be  an  irresistible  temptation 
to  break  or  evade  than  in  a  proper  system  of  compensation  by  belli- 
gerents not  only  for  structural  injuries,  but  loss  of  traffic,  meted  out 
by  a  tribunal  possessing  general  confidence.  In  legal  development, 
when  a  new  principle  has  not  yet  been  evolved,  and  when,  in  the 
absence  of  accepted  rules,  each  case  depends  on  its  peculiar  cir- 
cumstances, compensation  is,  as  here,  the  only  possible  alleviation 
of  hardships.  At  present,  however,  there  are  no  settled  ideas  or 
practice  as  to  such  compensation.  The  Americans,  in  their  war  with 
Spain,  cut  the  cable  of  the  Eastern  Extension  Company  from  Hong- 
Kong  to  Manila  at  the  shore  end.  The  company  claimed  compensa- 
tion for  Admiral  Dewey's  act  of  war.  English  counsel  gave  an 
opinion  favourable  to  the  claim  of  the  company  for  indemnity  to  the 
extent  of  the  amount  expended  on  repairing  the  cable  cut  at  Manila. 
The  Attorney-General  of  tin  United  States  advised  his  Government 


150  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

that  the  claim  was  not  maintainable,  on  the  ground  that  the  '  property 
of  a  neutral  permanently  situated  within  the  territory  of  our  enemy 
is,  from  its  situation  alone,  liable  to  damage  from  the  lawful 'operations 
of  war,  which  this  cutting  is  conceded  to  have  been,  as  no  compensa- 
tion is  due  for  such  damage.  .  .  .  That  is  a  rule  applying  to  property 
of  a  neutral  which  he  has  placed  within  the  territory  of  our  enemy, 
which  property  our  necessary  military  operations  damage  or  destroy. 
It  takes  no  account  of  the  character  of  the  property,  but  only  of  its 
location.  ...  It  argues  nothing  that  cables  have  not  heretofore  been 
the  subject  of  any  discussion  of  this  rule.  The  same  might  be  said 
of  many  kinds  of  property,  either  because  they  happened  not  to  be 
injured,  or  because  the  rule  was  so  well  understood  that  a  discussion 
was  deemed  superfluous.  ...  It  is  said  that  the  whole  utility  of  the 
cable  is  destroyed  for  many  miles  by  a  cutting  within  territorial 
waters;  in  other  words,  that  the  damage  extends  outside  of  terri- 
torial waters.  But  is  this  true  ?  Undoubtedly  the  interruption  of 
traffic  over  it  does  or  may  extend  for  many  miles ;  but  the  interrup- 
tion of  traffic  is  not  the  basis  of  the  claim.  When  repaired,  it  was 
repaired,  as  it  had  been  cut,  within  territorial  waters,  and  was  then  the 
same  as  before  the  injury.  It  was  possible  to  take  up  the  outer  end 
and  operate  the  cable  to  Hong-Kong  from  the  time  it  was  cut ;  and  it  was 
the  sealing  of  the  cable  at  Hong-Kong,  and  not  the  cutting,  which  pre- 
vented this  from  being  done.  . .  .  The  obvious  difference  between  a  cut- 
ting within  and  a  cutting  without  territorial  waters,  however  it  may  be 
equally  troublesome  to  the  owner,  goes  to  the  foundation  of  the  rule  au- 
thorising the  destruction  of  property  because  it  is  within  the  territory.' 6 

These  reasons  are  highly  technical,  and  are  not  convincing.  They 
do  not  accord  with  the  equity  of  plain  men.  The  property  of  an 
innocent  subject  of  a  neutral  State — property  which  he  could  not 
remove  when  war  broke  out — had  been  injured.  The  whole  line 
from  Hong-Kong  to  Manila  was  rendered  for  a  time  useless  to  the 
company.  It  is  conceived  that  a  proper  system  of  compensation 
should  provide  for  such  cases  and  others  pretty  certain  to  arise  in 
maritime  warfare.  It  is  somewhat  a  waste  of  time  and  ingenuity, 
I  fear,  to  attempt  to  determine  beforehand  with  great  detail  the  precise 
limits  of  action  to  which  in  this  matter  belligerents  may  be  expected  to 
conform.  More  pressing  is  the  preparation  of  a  carefully  thought-out 
scheme  of  compensation. 

The  reluctance  to  speak  positively  as  to  the  use  by  neutrals  on 
the  high  seas  or  on  neutral  territory  of  wireless  telegraphy  is  intelli- 
gible. Its  utility  in  warfare  has  yet  to  be  determined.  It  was  absurd 
to  describe,  in  the  language  of  the  Russian  note,  the  telegraphists  on 
board  the  Haimun  as  '  spies ' — a  term  defined  in  every  military  manual.7 

6  Opinions  of  Attorney-Generals,  xxii.  p.  315.    I  gather  from  the  Secretary  of  the 
Company  that  the  claim  is  still  under  consideration. 

7  See  Bismarck's  famous  note  of  November  19,  1870,  as  to  the  treatment  of 
aeronauts  in  time  of  war. 


1904        QUESTIONS   ON  THE  PRESENT   WAR         151 

If  there  is  any  doubt  as  to  its  meaning,  it  arises  from  the 
modern  tendency  to  greater  leniency  towards  a  class  of  men  per- 
forming duties  which  every  soldier  considers  honourable.  In  these 
days  Major  Andre  might  not  have  been  executed.  He  probably 
would  not  have  experienced  the  humiliation  of  being  hanged. 
Wireless  apparatus  on  shipboard  could  not  by  any  stretch  of  reason 
be  classed,  according  to  the  threat  in  the  Russian  note,  as  contra- 
band ;  every  requisite  is  absent.  Nor  is  there  a  recognised  doctrine 
according  to  which  neutrals  may  be  excluded  from  '  the  sphere  of 
military  operations '  outside  the  belligerents'  territory — a  somewhat 
novel  phrase  covering  a  novel  doctrine.  But  all  cause  for  complaint 
by  belligerents  is  not  removed  by  vessels  with  wireless  telegraphy 
keeping  outside  the  three-mile  line.  That  for  some  purposes  is  a 
sufficient  zone  of  safety,  while  it  is  not  so  for  others  ;  it  is  a  popular 
error  that  international  law  draws  a  hard-and-fast  line  as  to  this. 
Operation  by  wireless  telegraphy  might  be  on  such  a  scale  and  in 
such  circumstances  as  to  amount  to  assisting  the  enemy.  It  would 
be  unreasonable  to  expect  a  belligerent  to  look  on  while  a  vessel 
•equipped  with  this  apparatus  cruised  seven  or  eight  miles  off  shore, 
collecting  military  information  and  transmitting  it,  directly  or  cir- 
cuitously,  to  the  other  belligerent ;  this  might  be  lending  aid,  and  of 
a  most  valuable  kind,  to  the  enemy.  What  is  at  present  a  small 
matter  might  conceivably  become  by  some  future  development  and 
organisation  so  serious  as  to  be  a  breach  of  neutrality  and  an  offence 
to  be  taken  cognisance  of  in  an  amendment  to  Section  8  (4)  of  the 
Foreign  Enlistment  Act.  What  is  to  be  insisted  upon  as  to  this  and 
many  other  points  which  have  arisen  in  this  war  is  that  there  is  no 
•consensus  of  nations  as  to  them,  and  that  no  one  is  entitled  to  say, 
*  International  law  condemns  this.'  That  holds  good  even  of  such  a 
matter  as  what  is  contraband  by  the  law  of  nations. 

One  minor  matter  of  some  novelty  may  be  mentioned.  It  is  a 
nice  question  of  casuistry  how  far  it  is  legitimate  to  set  troops  of 
•wholly  different  degrees  of  civilisation  to  fight  against  each  other  ; 
and  it  is  a  question  as  to  which  opinion  is  apt  to  be  inconsistent 
The  employment  of  black  troops  by  the  United  States  was  applauded 
by  those  who,  borrowing  Chatham's  invectives  against  the  use  of  the 
Red  Indians  in  war,  denounced  the  employment  of  the>Turcos  in 
1870.  The  Russian  Government  appear  to  have  done  something 
which  is  almost  as  questionable  as  the  conduct  of  the  French.  Certain 
•of  the  convicts  detained  in  the  Island  of  Sakhalin — a  particularly 
bad  class  of  criminals — are,  it  is  said,  to  be  used  as  soldiers  ;  a  revival 
of  a  practice  not  known,  so  far  as  I  am  aware,  since  in  France  in 
1793  was  formed  a  legion  of  formats.  These  recruits  are  to  be  em- 
ployed on  what  is  akin  to  police  duty.  But  should  the  tide  of  war 
roll  in  their  direction,  deplorable  things  may  happen ;  and  in  any 
case  it  is  an  unfortunate  precedent. 

JOHN  MACDONELL. 


152  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUBY  July 


LAST  MONTH 


THE  Whitsuntide  recess,  and  Ascot,  not  to  speak  of  the  ordinary 
gaieties  of  the  season,  have  interfered  to  some  extent  with  the  course 
of  politics  during  the  past  month.     Possibly,  also,  our  politicians  have 
been  glad  of  any  excuse  for  absenting  themselves  from  the  House  o£ 
Commons.     At  all  events,  it  has  hardly  been  in  the  Parliamentary 
debates  that  the  political  interest  has  centred  of  late.    And  yet  it  is 
difficult  to  recall  a  time  when  the  political  situation  was  at  once  more 
difficult  and  more  interesting  than  it  is  at  this  moment.     The  life  of 
the  Ministry  and  of  Parliament  seems  to  hang  by  a  thread.     At  any 
moment  it  may  be  cut  short.     But  the  thread  is  a  tough  one,  and 
has  successfully  withstood  so  many  shocks  that  wise  men  have  given 
up  speculating  upon  the  precise  moment  at  which  it  will  at  last  b* 
severed.    For  the  mere  partisan  the  situation  is  quite  simple.     The 
thick-and-thin  advocate  of  the  Ministry  sees  in  Mr.  Balfour  the  most 
adroit  of  Parliamentary  tacticians,  and  he  looks  to  him  to  juggle 
successfully,  possibly  for  a  couple  of  years  to  come,  with  the  succes- 
sive difficulties  which  he  has  to  face.    The  resolute  Liberal,  on  the 
other  hand,  whilst  admitting  Mr.   Balfour's  cleverness,   maintains, 
first,  that  the  cleverness  is  not  in  itself  very  reputable  ;  secondly,  that, 
after  all,  the  Prime  Minister  is  not  a  free  agent,  but  is  compelled  to 
keep  measure  to  the  tune  played  by  Mr.  Chamberlain ;  and,  finally, 
that  it  does  not  matter  a  rap  with  what  skill  Mr.  Balfour  glides  over 
thin  ice,  so  long  as  public  feeling  out  of  doors  rises  daily  and  per- 
ceptibly against  him.     These,  however,  are  only  the  crude  outward 
features  of  the  situation.     Beati  possidentes  !    No  doubt  it  gives  much 
comfort  to  the  average  Ministerialist  to  know  that  his  party  is  still  in 
possession  of  power,  and  that  no  day  for  its  ejectment  has  as  yet 
been  fixed.     No  doubt,  also,  the  sturdy  member  of  the  Opposition  is- 
equally  satisfied  by  the  testimony  of  the  by-elections,  and  the  proof 
forthcoming  on  all  hands  of  the  grotesque  failure  of  the  raging  and 
tearing  agitation  which  he  feared  so  greatly  twelve  months  ago.     But 
behind  these  obvious  facts  lie  others  of  greater  importance,  which  the: 
events  of  last  month  have  forced  into  prominence. 


1904  LAST  MONTH  153 

To  begin  with,  it  looks,  at  the  moment  at  which  I  write,  as  though 
there  must  be  an  early  end  to  what  has  been  widely,  but  not  inaccu- 
rately, described  as  the  farce  of  Mr.  Balfour's  fiscal  policy.  The 
Prime  Minister  has  successfully  evaded  every  attempt  made  in  the 
House  of  Commons  to  extract  from  him  a  frank  and  intelligible  defini- 
tion of  that  policy.  He  still  sits  triumphantly  upon  the  fence,  and 
neither  the  reproaches  of  his  opponents  nor  the  entreaties  of  his 
friends  have  caused  him  to  descend  from  it.  But  apparently  pressure 
has  been  brought  to  bear  upon  him  from  another  quarter,  and  it  is 
pressure  to  which  he  may  yet  have  to  yield.  The  Duke  of  Devonshire 
has  been  formally  ejected  from  the  Presidency  of  the  Liberal  Unionist 
Association,  and  his  place,  we  are  now  told,  is  to  be  taken  by 
Mr.  Chamberlain.  No  one  can  reasonably  object  to  this  step.  Mr. 
Chamberlain  is,  without  doubt,  the  most  powerful  and  important 
person  left  in  the  Liberal  Unionist  party,  and  he  is  certainly  entitled 
to  succeed  the  Duke  in  the  office  of  President.  But  with  him  are  to 
be  associated  as  Vice-Presidents  two  members  of  the  Cabinet,  the 
Marquis  of  Lansdowne  and  the  Earl  of  Selborne.  This  in  itself  is  a 
quite  unobjectionable  arrangement.  But  if  it  be  true,  as  semi-official 
announcements  declare,  that  the  first  step  of  the  reorganised  Liberal 
Unionist  Association  will  be  to  pronounce  strongly  in  favour  of  Mr. 
Chamberlain's  fiscal  policy,  it  is  difficult  to  see  how  an  acute  crisis  is 
to  be  avoided  in  the  Ministerial  ranks.  The  Free  Traders  in  those 
ranks  are  hardly  likely  to  accept  with  equanimity  a  declaration  in 
favour  of  Protection  from  a  body  two  of  whose  officials  are  Cabinet 
Ministers  of  the  first  rank.  The  bland  assurances  which  have  hitherto 
sufficed  to  avert  an  open  rupture  among  the  majority  in  the  House  of 
Commons  will  scarcely  carry  weight  in  face  of  the  capture  by  the 
Protectionists  not  only  of  the  Liberal  Unionist  organisation,  but  of 
members  of  the  Cabinet  so  distinguished  as  Lords  Lansdowne  and 
Selborne.  I  have  never,  in  these  pages,  dwelt  upon  the  gossip  which 
at  all  times  runs  riot  in  the  lobbies  at  Westminster.  Most  of  it  is 
foolish,  and  it  is  generally  based  upon  the  slightest  of  foundations  ; 
but  it  is  impossible  for  anyone  to  close  his  ears  to  the  rumour  which 
asserts  that  this  new  step  on  the  part  of  Mr.  Chamberlain  in  the 
reorganisation  of  the  Liberal  Unionist  Association  is  the  result  of  a 
determination  on  his  part  to  force  the  running,  and  to  commit,  so  far 
as  he  can,  the  whole  Ministerial  party  to  his  fiscal  policy.  He  has 
had  to  submit  to  many  mortifications  of  late,  and  his  is  by  no  means 
a  nature  that  loves  to  kiss  the  rod.  It  must  be  bad  enough  for  him  to 
see  election  after  election  resulting  in  the  return  of  those  who  are 
opposed  tooth  and  nail  to  his  food-tax  ;  but  what  must  be  infinitely 
worse  is  the  fact  that  his  own  chosen  candidates  resolutely  shrink 
from  being  publicly  identified  with  his  policy.  The  Balfour  umbrella, 
to  revive  an  illustration  of  old  Gladstonian  days,  furnishes  them  with 
a  shelter  of  which  they  eagerly  avail  themselves — not,  apparently, 


154  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  July 

with  great  success  so  far  as  electoral  results  are  concerned.  It  is  easy 
to  understand  that  this  is  not  a  state  of  things  pleasing  to  the  ex- 
Colonial  Secretary.  In  his  eyes,  those  who  are  not  for  him  are  against 
him,  and  no  one  can  be  surprised  if  he  should  have  resolved  that  a 
farce  which  has  been  somewhat  unduly  prolonged  should  be  ended 
with  as  little  delay  as  possible.  It  thus  seems  not  impossible  that 
before  another  month  has  passed  over  our  heads  we  shall  be  brought 
face  to  face  with  a  change  in  the  political  situation  which  may  alter 
many  things. 

It  is  not  to  the  current  and  open  events  of  the  past  month  that 
we  have  to  look  for  real  light  upon  the  great  political  movements  of 
the  time.  So  far  as  these  events  are  concerned  they  are  almost  wholly 
unfavourable  to  Mr.  Chamberlain.  The  by-elections  have  proved 
once  more  that  the  masses  of  the  electors  have  not  only  been  unaffected 
by  his  strenuous  appeals,  but  are  still  resolutely  opposed  to  his  re- 
actionary ideas.  Fiscal  reform  has  even,  it  is  said,  ceased  to  be 
popular  in  smart  society,  where  a  year  ago  it  was  the  fashionable  cult. 
The  Cobden  centenary  celebrations,  though  they  may  have  had  the 
defects  common  to  all  popular  celebrations  of  the  kind,  have  undoubtedly 
shown  how  strong  a  hold  Cobdenism  has  secured  upon  the  nation. 
Mr.  Chamberlain's  Tariff  Commission,  it  is  true,  is  still  at  work,  and  I 
am  told  by  those  who  ought  to  know  that  the  new  Protectionists 
expect  much  from  the  result  of  its  labours.  But  for  the  present  it 
conducts  its  proceedings  with  a  decorous  privacy,  and  the  bomb 
which  it  is  to  launch  against  Free  Trade  has  still  to  be  fashioned.  But 
behind  the  labours  of  the  Cobden  Club  on  one  side,  and  of  the  Tariff 
Commission  on  the  other,  the  real  forces  are  silently  at  work ;  and 
among  these  none  is  more  potent  than  the  personality  of  Mr.  Chamber- 
lain himself.  Whatever  he  may  have  lost  in  prestige  by  his  abortive 
agitation  in  the  country,  he  has  certainly  not  lost  the  unique  power 
which  he  wields  within  the  Ministerial  ranks  in  Parliament.  The 
Government  depends  for  its  continued  existence  upon  his  support, 
and  though  it  is  natural  to  conclude  that  he  would  be  loth  to  pass 
sentence  of  death  upon  an  Administration  of  which  his  son  is  a  member, 
no  outsider  can  venture  to  predict  when  the  psychological  moment 
may  arrive  when  he  will  decide  that,  for  the  benefit  of  his  cause,  the 
curtain  ought  to  be  rung  down  upon  the  present  act  in  the  drama. 
His  speech  at  the  City  dinner  to  the  Chancellor  of  the  Exchequer 
suggests  that  he  has  already  framed  a  new  plan  of  campaign,  and  that 
his  present  idea  is  to  ask  the  country  for  its  confidence  on  the  strength 
of  his  assumed  ability  to  provide  it  with  new  sources  of  revenue,  the 
burden  of  which  will  fall,  not  upon  us,  but  upon  the  stranger  outside 
our  gates.  That  we  shall  have  to  discover  new  sources  of  revenue, 
if  our  trade  does  not  improve  and  there  is  to  be  no  reduction  of  our 
expenditure,  is  only  too  certain ;  but  that  we  are  in  a  position  to 
compel  other  people  to  provide  us  with  the  money  we  need  is  a  pro- 


1904  LAST  MONTH  155 

position  that  Mr.  Chamberlain  will  find  it  somewhat  difficult  to  induce 
the  country  to  accept.  Even  Mr.  Gladstone,  as  we  know,  failed 
signally  on  the  one  occasion  on  which  he  made  an  appeal  to  the  mer- 
cenary instincts  of  the  electors,  and  in  matters  of  finance  Mr.  Chamber- 
lain's warmest  admirer  will  admit  that  he  is  not  Mr.  Gladstone.  Still, 
the  fact  remains  that  we  seem  to  be  entering  upon  a  new  phase  of  the 
great  controversy,  a  phase  in  which  our  unbridled  expenditure  and 
the  trade  depression  so  largely  due  to  the  losses  of  the  South  African 
war  will  be  claimed  as  assets  by  the  fiscal  reformers.  It  is  not  impos- 
sible that  one  of  the  consequences  of  this  change  of  tactics  will  be  an 
earlier  dissolution  than  many  seem  to  anticipate. 

Rumour — one  must  again  apologise  for  referring  to  so  very  doubtful 
an  authority — has  for  months  past  informed  the  world  that  Mr. 
Chamberlain  does  not  look  for  a  Ministerial  victory  at  the  next 
General  Election.  In  this  instance  the  rumour  is  not,  I  believe, 
unfounded.  What  Mr.  Chamberlain  anticipates  is  a  Liberal  majority 
of  somewhat  uncertain  extent.  The  Opposition  is  then  to  come  into 
power,  and  is  to  remain  in  office  for  a  very  limited  period,  not  ex- 
ceeding two  years.  This  is  the  forecast  of  one  who  is  both  a  shrewd 
judge  and  a  pronounced  adversary  of  the  Liberal  party.  This  being 
the  case,  it  cannot  be  presumptuous  to  deal  with  the  prospects  of 
Liberalism,  more  especially  since,  during  the  last  month,  some  light 
has  been  thrown  upon  those  prospects  by  Lord  Rosebery's  speech  at 
the  Queen's  Hall.  I  need  not  discuss  that  speech  at  length.  What- 
ever else  may  be  said  about  it,  it  was  at  least  the  speech  of  one  who, 
whatever  may  be  the  number  of  his  followers,  undoubtedly  spoke  as 
a  leader.  His  survey  of  the  general  situation  was  wide  and  luminous, 
and  even  those  Liberals  who  have  the  least  sympathy  with  his  opinions 
upon  some  subjects  would  be  very  ill-advised  if  they  failed  to  benefit 
by  it,  and  by  the  general  tenor  of  the  advice  which  he  gave  them. 
But  the  great  merit  of  Lord  Rosebery's  declaration  was  the  emphasis 
with  which  it  drew  attention  to  that  which  is,  after  all,  the  crux  of 
the  situation,  so  far  as  Liberalism  is  concerned.  The  party  must, 
before  long,  make  its  great  appeal  to  the  electors.  It  has  enough,  and 
more  than  enough,  in  the  Ministerial  blunders  of  the  last  nine  years 
upon  which  to  found  its  claim  to  a  vote  of  confidence  from  the  public. 
The  old  khaki  cry  is  dead  ;  how  completely  dead  it  is  was  proved  by 
the  Market  Harborough  election,  in  which  a  typical  representative  of 
those  whom  their  opponents  were  wont  to  describe  as  pro-Boers 
secured  a  much  larger  majority  than  any  Liberal  had  ever  before 
obtained  in  the  constituency.  But  if  this  cry  is  dead,  another,  and 
a  still  more  formidable  one,  remains.  What  is  to  be  the  policy  of  a 
Liberal  Government,  supposing  one  to  be  formed  as  the  result  of  the 
General  Election,  with  regard  to  Ireland  ?  Upon  some  points  there 
need  be  no  hesitation  in  answering  this  question.  Administrative 
reform,  sorely  needed  in  all  parts  of  the  United  Kingdom,  is  nowhere 


156  TEE  NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  July 

needed  so  urgently  as  in  Ireland.  Upon  that  point  the  Liberal  party 
in  all  its  branches  is  united.  The  sympathetic  treatment  of  all  reason- 
able Irish  demands  with  a  view  to  giving  the  country,  so  far  as  justice 
permits,  the  government  which  it  desires,  and  without  which  it  will 
never  be  content,  is  another  question  upon  which  there  is  but  one 
opinion  in  the  ranks  of  Liberalism.  But  are  the  Liberals,  if  they 
should  return  to  power,  to  take  up  the  thread  broken  in  1894,  and  to 
seek  to  revive  that  Home  Rule  legislation  which  they  pursued  with  so 
much  ardour,  and  at  so  great  a  cost  to  themselves,  during  the  latest 
years  of  the  Gladstonian  regime  ?  This  was  really  the  question  dis- 
cussed briefly  but  clearly  by  Lord  Rosebery  in  the  Queen's  Hall 
speech.  There  is  no  need  to  say  how  he  dealt  with  it.  He  declared 
plainly  that  the  next  Parliament,  if  it  had  a  Liberal  majority,  neither 
could  nor  would  deal  with  the  question  of  Home  Rule.  His  views 
are  those  which  I  feel  convinced  are  held  by  the  overwhelming  majority 
of  Liberals,  certainly  by  all  who  care  to  look  the  facts  in  the  face. 
We  cannot  revive  the  passionate  pilgrimage  of  the  years  between 
1885  and  1894 ;  and  if  we  could,  there  is  no  reason  to  suppose  that 
public  opinion  in  Great  Britain  has  changed  to  such  an  extent  as  to 
support  a  renewed  Home  Rule  policy,  or  that  the  House  of  Lords  has 
repented  of  its  rejection  of  Mr.  Gladstone's  scheme.  To  seek  to 
revive  that  scheme  under  present  conditions  would  be  an  act  of 
suicide  on  the  part  of  the  Liberal  leaders.  They  have  work  of  their 
own  to  do  for  Great  Britain  and  the  Empire  as  a  whole,  more  important 
and  more  pressing  than  anything  they  can  hope  to  do  in  the  next 
Parliament  for  Ireland.  Mr.  Birrell,  who,  as  President  of  the  National 
Liberal  Federation,  speaks  with  authority,  has  been  almost  as  emphatic 
in  proclaiming  this  truth  as  Lord  Rosebery  himself.  The  misfortune 
is  that  there  are  still  many  Liberals  who,  if  they  could,  would  revive 
the  ten-year-old  shibboleth,  and  seek  to  burden  themselves  with  it, 
to  the  detriment  of  their  party  and  their  cause.  For  those  who  feel 
so  strongly  on  this  subject  that  they  insist  upon  being  Home  Rulers 
and  nothing  else,  one  can  only  feel  sincere  respect,  even  though  their 
worldly  wisdom  may  not  be  very  obvious.  But  the  Home  Rule  cry 
has  other  supporters,  who  regard  it  as  being  not  so  much  the  embodi- 
ment of  a  sacred  principle  as  an  instrument  for  electioneering  pur- 
poses. They  believe  but  faintly  in  the  possibility  of  securing  a 
Liberal  majority  in  the  next  Parliament  without  the  help  of  the 
Irish,  and  it  is  their  desire  to  secure  the  Irish  vote  that  makes  them 
stick  to  Home  Rule.  Naturally,  they  are  furious  against  Lord  Rose- 
bery for  his  distinct  refusal  to  countenance  the  idea  of  an  alliance 
between  British  Liberals  and  Irish  Nationalists,  or  the  formation  of  a 
Ministry  which  would  depend  for  its  existence  upon  the  support  of 
the  latter.  This,  as  I  have  said,  is  the  crux  of  the  question  with 
which  the  Liberal  leaders  and  the  Liberal  party  have  now  to  deal. 
To  me  it  seems  that  Lord  Rosebery  spoke  both  as  a  statesman  and 


1904  LAST  MONTH  157 

a  patriot.  It  would  be  impossible  for  the  Liberal  party  to  do  the 
work  which  now  lies  before  it,  work  dealing  more  particularly  with 
free  trade,  education,  and  licensing  reform,  if  it  could  only  carry  out 
its  policy  by  the  aid  of  the  Irish  members ;  whilst  no  position  could 
be  more  intolerable  or  more  humiliating  for  any  English  Ministry 
than  that  of  having  to  rely  upon  an  Irish  alliance,  unless  it  were  in 
&  Parliament  elected  ad  hoc  for  the  purpose  of  dealing  with  the  Irish 
question.  All  this  is  so  obvious  that  it  seems  to  be  a  truism,  and 
yet  it  is  a  truism  upon  which  depends  the  future  of  Liberalism  in  the 
next  House  of  Commons.  To  play  with  the  question  in  any  way,  or 
to  try  to  evade  it  by  means  of  soothing  commonplaces  which  deceive 
nobody,  would  be  to  betray  the  interests  not  merely  of  the  party,  but 
of  the  country.  The  greatest  misfortune  that  could  happen  to  the 
nation  as  the  result  of  the  next  General  Election  would  be  a  condi- 
tion of  things  in  which  the  Irish  members  would  hold  the  balance  of 
power.  Lord  Rosebery's  purpose  at  the  Queen's  Hall  was  to  point  to 
the  existence  of  this  danger,  and  to  warn  his  fellow  Liberals  against 
those  who  would  lightly  expose  themselves  to  it.  He  deserves  the 
thanks  not  only  of  Liberals  but  of  the  whole  country  for  the  courage 
with  which  he  has  spoken  the  truth  on  a  delicate  and  serious  question, 
without  stopping  to  consider  the  misconceptions  to  which  such  plain- 
speaking  was  certain  to  subject  him. 

The  Prime  Minister  referred  at  least  once  during  last  month  to 
the  alleged  lists — '  alternative  lists,'  I  think  he  called  them — of  the 
next  Administration  which  are  popularly  supposed  to  be  enshrined 
in  the  cabinets  of  certain  prominent  members  of  the  Opposition. 
Personally,  I  know  nothing  even  as  to  the  existence  of  these  lists ; 
but  I  do  know  that  a  great  many  people  believe  that  they  are  actually 
in  being,  and  they  undoubtedly  form  a  topic  which  seems  to  interest 
all  classes  of  politicians.  The  forming  of  imaginary  Cabinets  is  always 
a  fascinating  amusement,  especially  to  those  who  are  not  too  far  off 
the  sacred  circle  to  feel  a  personal  interest  in  the  game.  But  in  the 
case  of  the  next  Liberal  Government  so  much  depends  upon  the  choice 
of  Prime  Minister  and  Foreign  Secretary  that,  until  the  allotment  of 
these  posts  has  been  definitely  settled,  no  good  can  be  done  by  specula- 
tion as  to  minor  appointments.  That  there  are  alternative  Govern- 
ments ready  to  step  into  the  shoes  of  Mr.  Balfour  and  his  colleagues 
in  the  present  Ministry  is  certain ;  and  Liberals,  at  all  events,  believe 
universally  that  no  new  Government,  whatever  might  be  its  general 
character,  could  possibly  be  worse  than  the  present  one,  or  could 
blunder  so  conspicuously  and  so  constantly  as  the  oft-transformed 
Cabinet  of  1895  has  done.  But  what  is  to  be  the  special  brand  of 
Liberalism  that  the  next  Ministry  will  represent  ?  There  are  writers 
in  the  Press  and  a  few  speakers  on  the  platform  who  insist  that  it 
must  be  openly  and  strenuously  anti-Imperialist  in  tone,  and  must 
renounce  not  only  the  jingoism  of  the  khaki  days,  but  the  '  sane 


158  TEE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

Imperialism '  of  the  Liberal  League.  There  are  others  who  hold  that 
even  the  least  infusion  of  the  '  Little  England '  spirit  into  the  new 
Government  would  certainly  discredit  it,  and  probably  bring  about 
its  destruction  well  within  the  brief  term  of  life  which  Mr.  Chamber- 
lain and  his  friends  have  assigned  to  it.  The  truth,  of  course,  lies 
between  these  two  extremes.  The  policy  of  ostracism  for  which  a  few 
extreme  Radical  writers,  possessed  of  greater  fluency  than  influence, 
are  always  clamouring,  is  one  that  under  present  conditions  the  Liberal 
party  is  certainly  not  in  a  position  to  adopt.  The  next  Ministry  will 
contain  the  representatives  of  all  the  sections  into  which  the  Opposition 
has  been  split  during  its  long  years  of  wandering  in  the  wilderness. 
But  its  predominating  character  can  only  be  decided  when  it  is  known 
who  is  to  be  at  its  head,  who  is  to  hold  the  Foreign  Secretaryship,  and 
what  is  to  be  its  attitude  towards  the  Irish  question.  Until  these 
points  have  been  settled — and  they  can  hardly  be  settled  before  the 
General  Election  has  taken  place — it  is  sheer  waste  of  time  to  speculate 
on  the  contents  of  those  mysterious  lists  to  which  Mr.  Balfour  referred. 
The  only  point  that  emerges  clearly  from  the  turbid  sea  of  speculation 
is  the  fact  that,  upon  whomsoever  the  duty  of  forming  the  next  Liberal 
Administration  may  fall,  there  is  no  one  who  is  likely  to  envy  him 
his  task. 

The  question  of  the  Army  and  the  defensive  forces  of  the  country 
has  been  very  much  in  men's  minds  during  the  month.  The  Report 
of  the  Royal  Commission  upon  the  Volunteers,  with  its  rather  crude 
conclusion  in  favour  of  conscription,  startled  everybody,  and  appar- 
ently was  most  startling  to  those  who  in  the  Press  and  in  Parliament 
have  long  been  dallying  with  the  subject  in  an  amateurish  fashion. 
Seldom  has  a  document  of  this  importance  been  received  with  such 
general  and  outspoken  condemnation.  A  couple  of  days  sufficed  to 
establish  the  fact  that,  at  the  present  moment,  the  nation  will  not 
stand  the  idea  of  conscription  at  any  price.  The  Report  of  the  Com- 
mission was  blown  into  the  air  by  a  gust  of  almost  universal  indignation, 
and  Ministers  made  haste  to  declare  that  they  had  no  intention  of 
acting  upon  its  proposals.  If,  as  seems  by  no  means  improbable,  the 
Report  was  in  the  nature  of  a  ballon  d'essai,  sent  up  on  behalf  of  the 
Ministry,  it  undoubtedly  served  its  purpose,  and  for  some  time  to 
come  we  are  little  likely  to  hear  anything  further  on  the  subject  of 
compulsory  military  service.  But  there  are  some  who  suggested 
from  the  first  that,  in  procuring  this  declaration  of  opinion  from  the 
Royal  Commission,  Ministers  were  not  so  much  trying  to  ascertain 
the  true  views  of  the  public  with  regard  to  conscription,  as  seeking 
to  furnish  themselves  with  a  weapon  by  means  of  which  they  could 
induce  the  House  of  Commons  to  accept  fresh  proposals  of  theirs  on 
the  subject  of  the  Army.  It  is  unfortunately  evident  that  the  present 
condition  of  the  Army  is  deplorably  bad.  Between  the  havoc  wrought 
by  the  war  and  the  still  greater  mischief  caused  by  Mr.  Brodrick's 


1904  LAST  MONTH  159 

alteration  of  the  terms  of  enlistment,  the  ranks  of  our  regiments  are 
being  quickly  depleted,  and  it  is  impossible  to  find  recruits  to  take 
the  places  of  the  men  who  insist  upon  returning  to  civil  life.  The 
subject  is  not  one  upon  which  I  wish  to  dwell.  Probably  the  less  it 
is  discussed  in  public  the  better.  But  it  is  known  only  too  well  that 
we  are  within  a  few  months  of  a  crisis  in  the  history  of  our  Army  such 
as  we  have  never  had  to  face  before.  Ministers  seem  to  have  one 
remedy,  and  one  only,  for  this  deplorable  state  of  things.  It  is  the 
old  remedy  of  increased  expenditure.  With  the  Report  of  the  Volunteer 
Commission  in  their  hands,  they  can  go  to  Parliament  and  say,  '  Here 
is  a  proposal  for  conscription  ;  but  you  will  not  even  look  at  it ;  that 
being  the  case  you  must  face  the  only  alternative,  and  provide  sufficient 
money  to  enable  us  to  compete  successfully  for  our  recruits  in  the  open 
labour  market.'  Such,  at  least,  is  the  explanation  which  some  give  of 
the  origin  of  this  very  remarkable  Report. 

But,  in  the  meantime,  what  of  that  great  scheme  of  War  Office 
reform  which  was  to  give  us  the  efficiency  in  military  administration 
that  we  need  so  badly  ?  Everybody  rejoiced  at  the  business-like 
promptitude  with  which  Mr.  Arnold-Forster,  after  his  installation  in 
office,  brought  the  Esher  Committee  into  existence,  and  we  rejoiced 
even  more  gladly  when  that  body  turned  out  its  sweeping  scheme  of 
reforms  with  such  unexampled  celerity.  But  months  have  elapsed 
since  the  historic  documents  revolutionising  our  system  of  Army 
administration  were  given  to  the  world ;  it  is  even  months  since  we 
were  practically  assured  by  the  Secretary  for  War  that  the  scheme 
had  been  adopted  and  was  in  process  of  being  put  in  force.  Where 
is  it  now  ?  Many  wild  rumours  are  current  as  to  its  fate,  but  they 
are  not  rumours  that  one  need  pause  to  examine  here.  One  thing, 
however,  has  happened  during  the  past  month  that  is  distinctly 
ominous.  It  was  announced  that  on  the  16th  of  May  Mr.  Arnold- 
Forster  would  take  the  House  of  Commons  into  his  confidence,  and 
make  his  eagerly-expected  statement  with  regard  to  the  position  of 
his  great  scheme.  The  spirit  of  the  reformers  rose  at  this  announce- 
ment, and  the  prophets  of  evil,  who  had  been  trading  on  the  rumours, 
to  which  I  have  referred,  were  correspondingly  depressed.  But  alas  ! 
on  the  eve  of  the  date  mentioned  the  Prime  Minister,  in  an  apologetic 
statement  worded  so  curiously  that  it  could  not  have  failed  to  create 
suspicion  in  the  minds  of  those  who  heard  it,  intimated  that  a  mistake 
had  been  made — a  mistake  the  sole  responsibility  for  which  rested 
with  himself — and  that  Mr.  Arnold-Forster  would  not  be  in  a  position 
to  make  his  promised  speech  on  the  day  fixed.  Then,  indeed,  did  the 
flood  of  rumour  that  had  been  gathering  so  long  burst  all  bounds ,, 
sweeping  everything  before  it.  Not  merely  the  loss  of  the  Esher- 
Clarke  scheme,  but  even  the  downfall  of  the  Ministry  itself,  were 
declared  by  the  quidnuncs  to  be  impending  ;  and  tales  of  a  prolonged 
fight  within  the  Cabinet,  waged  with  a  desperate  resolution  worthy  of 


160  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  July 

General  Kuroki  himself,  filled  all  mouths.  Perhaps  by  the  time  that 
these  lines  appear  in  print  the  truth  may  have  been  made  manifest. 
One  hears  many  versions  of  it ;  but  it  is  no  business  of  mine  to  purvey 
the  gossip  of  the  clubs.  For  the  present  I  am  content  to  note  the 
fact  that  as  last  month  drew  to  a  close  the  hopes  both  of  Army  reformers 
and  of  economists  seemed  to  sink  to  the  lowest  point  at  which  they 
had  stood  since  Mr.  Brodrick  retired  from  his  throne  of  thorns  in  Pall 
Mall. 

Parliament  has  been  engaged  during  the  month  with  the  Licensing 
Bill,  and  other  measures  for  the  most  part  of  secondary  importance. 
On  the  Licensing  Bill,  Ministers  have  so  far  held  their  own,  and  have 
successfully  resisted  even  the  attempt,  strongly  supported  on  their 
own  side  of  the  House,  to  induce  them  to  impose  a  time  limit  on  their 
measure  for  conferring  a  practical  endowment  on  the  publicans.  But 
their  success  in  the  House  of  Commons  has  not  followed  them  into  the 
country,  where  public  opinion  is  steadily  growing  more  hostile  to  the 
Bill.  The  bishops  and  clergymen  of  the  Church  of  England  have 
come  forward  to  protest  against  it,  and  popular  demonstrations  for 
the  purpose  of  denouncing  it  have  been  held  in  many  of  the  large 
towns  throughout  England.  The  demonstrations  may  not  in  them- 
selves be  immediately  operative  ;  but  they  undoubtedly  swell  the  tide 
of  resentment  against  the  Government  which  is  growing  so  steadily  in 
all  quarters.  More  important,  perhaps,  than  any  individual  measure 
dealt  with  during  the  month  is  the  movement  within  the  House  of 
Commons  which  has  been  caused  by  the  systematic  attempt  of  certain 
members  to  deprive  the  House  of  its  liberty  of  action,  in  the  interests 
of  particular  parties.  Debate,  on  a  motion  for  the  adjournment  of 
the  House,  is  not,  under  the  rules,  permitted  on  any  question  with 
respect  to  which  a  notice  of  motion  is  standing  on  the  paper.  In  itself 
there  are  doubtless  good  reasons  for  this  rule,  but  it  is  deliberately 
abused  by  members  who  put  down  what  can  only  be  called  sham 
notices  of  motion  for  the  purpose  of  preventing  any  real  debate  upon 
the  questions  with  which  their  notices  deal.  It  seems  intolerable 
that  the  freedom  of  Parliament  should  be  curtailed  in  this  matter  by 
the  hacks  of  parties  or  the  advertisers  of  their  own  names.  The  Prime 
Minister  has  undertaken,  at  the  request  of  Sir  Henry  Campbell-Banner- 
man,  to  consider  how  this  scandal  may  be  dealt  with.  Public  respect 
for  the  House  of  Commons  will  hardly  be  increased  if  it  should  prove 
to  be  powerless  to  protect  itself  from  this  gross  infringement  of  its 
rights. 

The  'Dundonald  incident,'  as  it  has  been  called,  is  one  of  the 
least  pleasant  features  of  the  history  of  the  month.  The  Earl  of 
Dundonald,  a  soldier  of  brilliant  reputation,  was  appointed,  after  the 
South  African  War,  General  in  command  of  the  Canadian  Militia. 
Recently,  in  that  capacity,  he  nominated  certain  persons  for  com- 
missions in  one  of  the  regiments  of  militia.  One  at  least  of  these 


1904  LAST  MONTH  161 

nominations  was  rejected  by  Mr.  Fisher,  Minister  of  Agriculture,  to 
whom  the  matter  was  referred  by  the  Minister  to  whose  department 
questions  connected  with  the  national  defence  belong.  Lord  Dun- 
donald  thought  he  had  reason  to  believe  that  Mr.  Fisher  acted  from 
motives  connected  with  party  politics,  and  he  made  a  speech  on  the 
subject  at  a  public  gathering,  in  which  he  protested  strongly  against 
the  intrusion  of  politics  into  matters  of  military  discipline.  There  is 
no  doubt  that  he  committed  an  indiscretion  in  taking  this  action,  and 
that  he  showed  his  failure  to  appreciate  the  constitutional  laws  by 
which  he,  in  common  with  other  persons,  must  be  content  to  be 
governed.  But  his  indiscretion  was  not  treated  generously  or  even 
leniently  by  the  Dominion  Government,  whilst  Sir  Wilfrid  Laurier's 
reference  to  this  distinguished  British  soldier  as  a  '  foreigner ' — an 
indiscretion,  it  is  true,  immediately  repented  of — leaves  a  very  bad 
taste  in  the  mouth.  The  incident  ought  to  be  a  lesson  to  the  poli- 
ticians who,  ignoring  the  advice  of  the  wise  men  of  the  past,  are  anxious 
to  anticipate  the  work  of  time  in  cementing  a  closer  relationship 
between  the  Mother  Country  and  the  Colonies.  Of  other  incidents 
of  the  month,  two  which  must  be  noticed  in  this  chronicle  are  the 
assassination  of  General  BobrikofT,  the  Governor-General  of  Finland, 
by  an  official  of  the  Finnish  Administration  who  afterwards  committed 
suicide,  and  the  terrible  fire  on  a  pleasure-boat  in  East  River,  New 
York,  by  which  some  900  lives,  chiefly  those  of  children,  were  lost. 
So  far  as  the  tragedy  at  Helsingfors  is  concerned,  public  opinion  in 
this  country  seems  to  be  divided  between  our  righteous  abhorrence 
of  assassination  as  a  weapon  in  political  warfare,  and  our  indignation 
at  the  harsh  and  arbitrary  way  in  which  the  Government  at  St.  Peters- 
burg has  for  years  past  been  engaged  in  the  attempt  to  substitute 
autocratic  rule  for  the  once  free  constitution  of  Finland. 

The  war  between  Russia  and  Japan  has  undergone  a  great  develop- 
ment during  the  month,  and  has  now  attained  proportions  which 
irresistibly  recall  the  mighty  conflict  of  1870.  With  one  exception,  all 
the  events  of  the  month  have  been  unfavourable  to  the  arms  of  Russia. 
This  exception  is  the  successful  raid  of  the  Vladivostok  fleet  into 
Japanese  waters,  where  the  swift  Russian  cruisers  were  able  to  inflict 
serious  damage  upon  a  fleet  of  the  enemy's  transports.  The  loss  of 
life  was  great,  and  the  interruption  to  the  Japanese  operations  has 
been  considerable.  The  Russian  vessels  were  exceptionally  fortunate 
in  being  able  to  evade  the  Japanese  squadron,  and  to  return  to  Vladi- 
vostok in  safety.  But  though  the  Russians  have  been  naturally 
cheered  by  this,  their  first  successful  operation  during  the  war,  the 
record  of  the  month  has  been,  in  all  other  respects,  uniformly  adverse 
to  them.  The  investment  of  Port  Arthur  was  completed  on  the 
4th  of  June,  and  the  Japanese  armies  began  at  once  to  move  north- 
wards in  the  direction  of  Mukden.  A  desperate  attempt  was  made 
by  General  Kuropatkin,  at  the  urgent  instigation  of  the  authorities  in 

VOL.  LVI — No.  329  M 


162  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  July 

St.  Petersburg,  to  send  a  relieving  force  to  Port  Arthur.  The  result 
has  been  at  least  one  pitched  battle,  and  a  series  of  sanguinary  engage- 
ments. The  pitched  battle  resulted  in  the  complete  defeat  of  the 
Russians,  with  \  a  loss  that  has  been  estimated  at  as  high  a  figure  as 
10,000,  and  that  probably  does  not  fall  far  short  of  that  number. 
Since  then  there  have  been  rumours  of  another  engagement  scarcely 
less  disastrous  to  the  armies  of  the  Czar,  and  the  position  of  the  corps 
which  made  the  abortive  attempt  to  relieve  Port  Arthur  is  extremely 
precarious.  Not  merely  in  scientific  strategy,  but  in  power  of  endur- 
ance on  the  field  of  battle,  the  Japanese  continue  to  manifest  their 
superiority  to  their  foe,  whose  unquestionable  valour  seems  of  little 
avail  against  the  desperate  courage  and  better  generalship  of  the 
enemy  he  has  to  face.  General  Kuropatkin  is  apparently  being  rein- 
forced as  rapidly  as  possible,  but  the  Russian  position  in  Manchuria 
is  not  more  hopeful  than  it  was,  and  we  seem  to  be  on  the  eve  of 
grave,  possibly  even  of  decisive,  events. 

WEMYSS  REID. 


LAST  MONTH 


II 

*  As  far  as  possible  all  actions  of  the  Chinese  Government  are  regu- 
lated by  precedents  reaching  back  thousands  of  years,  and  a  board 
of  the  highest  officials  have  to  watch  that  all  edicts  and  proclamations 
conform  in  style,  spirit,  and  substance  with  the  ancient  dynastic 
regulations  and  Confucian  precepts.'  Only  the  other  day  I  read 
this  sentence  in  an  able  article  about  the  Yellow  Peril,  published  last 
month  in  this  Review.  In  common  with  most  of  my  brother  publicists 
my  mind,  such  as  it  is,  has  been  of  late  so  much  occupied  with  the 
fiscal  controversy  that  whatever  I  am  reading  I  find  myself  reverting 
to  Cobden  and  the  Anti-Corn  Law  League.  My  first  impression  on 
reading  this  passage  was  that  by  some  printer's  error  the  words  China 
and  Confucius  had  been  substituted  for  England  and  Cobden.  A 
second  perusal  dispelled  this  illusion ;  but,  as  I  read  on,  I  learnt  that 
the  writer  of  the  article  in  question  attributed  the  decay  of  the  Celes- 
tial Empire  to  the  persistency  with  which  the  Chinese  direct  their 
policy,  and  regulate  their  action,  in  accordance,  not  with  the  condi- 
tions of  the  present  day,  but  with  theories  laid  down  and  promulgated 
by  teachers  in  the  bygone  past.  A  subsequent  study  of  the  speeches 
delivered  by  the  pundits  of  Liberalism  on  the  occasion  of  the  centenary 
of  Cobden's  birth  has  caused  me  to  feel  deep  anxiety  about  the  extent 
to  which  the  Liberal  party  are  adopting  similar  principles  of  govern- 
ment to  those  which  commend  themselves  to  the  collective  wisdom  of 
China.  Like  causes  produce  like  results  ;  and  if,  as  I  am  daily  assured, 
the  control  of  the  British  Empire  is  about  to  pass  into  the  hands  of  a 
party  whose  one  article  of  faith  is  the  infallibility  of  Cobden,  I  can 
only  come  to  the  conclusion  that  sooner  or  later  Great  Britain  must 
incur  the  fate  which  has  befallen  the  nation  whose  faith  is  pinned  to 
the  omniscience  of  Confucius.  The  French  have  a  proverb  that 
'  so  long  as  you  live,  you  have  got  to  live  with  the  living,  not  with 
the  dead,'  and  the  truth  conveyed  in  this  proverb  is  violated  by  any 
country  which  refuses  to  deal  with  the  present  and  adheres  to  the  past. 
In  order  to  show  how  far  the  Cobdeniat  and  the  Confucian  evangels 

163  M  2 


164  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

resemble  each  other  it  may  be  well  to  quote  a  few  flowers  of  rhetoric 
culled  from  the  adulatory  speeches  of  the  leaders  of  the  Liberal  party 
during  last  month's  commemoration  of  the  centenary  of  Cobden's  birth. 

Sir  Henry  Campbell-Bannerman  gave  the  note  of  the  Cobden 
demonstration  by  calling  on  his  audience  at  the  Alexandra  Palace 
*  to  declare  their  adherence  to  the  doctrines  which  Cobden  taught  and 
their  determination  that  the  power  of  these  doctrines  should  not,. 
God  helping  them,  be  impaired.'  In  respect  of  Cobden  Sir  Henry 
seems  to  be  what  it  is  the  fashion  of  the  Liberals  of  to-day  to  call  a 
'  whole  hogger.'  He  not  only  pins  his  salvation  to  the  faith  of  Free 
Trade  as  expounded  by  the  some  time  member  for  Stockport,  but  he 
swallows  without  flinching  the  peace  dogmas  of  which  his  guide, 
philosopher,  and  friend  was  the  exponent.  He  informs  us  that 
'  Cobden's  belief  in  Free  Trade  was  not  a  mere  isolated  doctrine 
standing  forlornly  by  itself ;  it  was  part,  and  an  essential  part,  of  his 
general  outlook  on  the  world.  He  saw  the  nations  separated  by 
their  selfishness  and  their  suspicions  ;  he  saw  that  militarism  and 
protection  went  hand  in  hand.'  Even  Sir  Henry's  enthusiasm  could 
not  quite  blind  him  to  the  fact  that,  though  England  under  Cobden's 
advice  had  adopted  Free  Trade  for  the  last  sixty  years,  militarism 
has  increased  instead  of  declining.  In  order  to  meet  this  obvious 
objection  he  informs  his  listeners  that  '  they  were  to  assert,  not  with 
bated  breath,  but  in  confident  tones  and  in  accents  of  triumph,  that 
Cobden's  dream  was  no  illusion,  and  that  the  strength  of  the  country 
depended  not  upon  war  equipment,  not  upon  fleets  and  armies,  but 
upon  peace  equipment.'  In  plain  language,  the  policy,  in  virtue  of 
which  the  eulogist  of  Cobden's  foresight  (the  Minister  of  War  under 
the  last  Liberal  administration  and  the  nominal  leader  of  the  Liberal 
party)  proposes  to  secure  to  England  the  blessing  of  peace,  is  to  reduce 
our  armaments,  to  leave  our  shores  and  harbours  unprotected,  on  the 
strength  of  his  own  conviction  that  Cobden  was  no  dreamer  of  dreams, 
but  was  right  in  his  theories,  however  facts  may  have  gone  against 
their  realisation.  Sir  Henry's  pompous  eulogies  were  supported  by  a 
claptrap  speech  of  Mr.  Winston  Churchill,  who  ignored  Cobden,  except 
as  far  as  he  dwelt  upon  the  importance  to  Free  Trade  of  his  own  con- 
version to  Cobdenian  orthodoxy,  and  wound  up  with  a  stirring  perora- 
tion, in  which  he  described  the  Unionists,  whom  he  had  just  deserted, 
as  '  a  capitalist  party,  the  mere  washpot  of  plutocracy,  the  engine  of 
the  tariff  and  the  trust,  a  hard  confederation  of  interest  and  monopoly 
banded  together  to  corrupt  and  to  plunder  the  Commonwealth.' 

At  Birmingham  Mr.  Morley  had  the  good  sense  to  admit  that  the 
sudden  desire  exhibited  by  the  Liberals  to  resuscitate  the  somewhat 
faded  memory  of  Cobden  was  '  not  a  purely  ceremonial  tribute  to  a 
great  public  servant.'  He  had  the  good  taste  also  to  avoid  any 
personal  attack  on  the  member  for  West  Birmingham.  With  a  total 
disregard,  however,  of  historical  proportion  he  poured  forth  his  gall  upon 


1904  LAST  MONTH  165 

Prince  Bismarck,  and  described  the  statesman  who  created  a  United 
Germany  as  being  a  far  less  important  personage  than  the  politician 
who  founded  the  Anti-Corn  Law  League.  '  What,'  he  asked  the 
operatives  of  Birmingham,  '  was  the  use  of  stirring  the  people  to-day 
with  German  professors  or  economics  of  the  moon  ?  '  No  answer 
being  forthcoming  to  this  inquiry,  he  proceeded  to  state  '  that  the 
German  nation  had  lost  all  confidence  whatever,  if  they  ever  had  any, 
in  these  economics  of  the  moon,  which  Prince  Bismarck  planted  on 
them  twenty-five  years  ago.'  In  confirmation  of  his  assertion  that 
Cobden's  prophecies,  however  they  had  been  discredited  by  the  course 
of  events,  must  and  would  come  out  right  in  the  end,  he  repeated  a 
remark  made,  or  said  to  have  been  made,  by  Lord  Melbourne  three- 
score years  ago  to  the  effect  that  '  it  is  madness  to  think  you  can  ever 
repeal  the  Corn  Laws.'  I  should  have  thought  myself  that,  as  the 
Corn  Laws  were  repealed  a  few  years  later,  this  saying  was  a  proof  of 
the  folly  of  making  prophecies  as  to  the  durability  of  any  policy  or 
institution.  Everything  changes ;  and  yet  Mr.  Morley  makes  a 
strong  demand  upon  the  credulity  of  his  fellow  countrymen  when  he 
asks  them  to  believe  that  the  policy  of  Free  Trade  is  the  only  thing 
immutable  in  a  world  of  change.  In  like  fashion  Sir  Robert  Giffen 
informed  the  electorate  of  Hayward's  Heath  that  '  no  one  can  deny 
the  past  .  .  .  and  that  Cobden's  work  in  the  matter  of  commercial 
policy  was  for  all  time.'  At  Carlisle  the  same  dogma  was  affirmed  by 
Sir  Robert  Reid  when  he  stated  that  '  the  lessons  which  Cobden 
taught  our  fathers  were  not  lessons  merely  of  passing  value  ;  they 
were  founded  on  principles  which  were  true  for  all  time.'  Freedom  of 
trade  was  declared  by  the  Solicitor-General  of  the  last  Liberal  Govern- 
ment to  occupy  the  first  place  in  the  category  of  '  things  upon  which 
the  true  stability  of  this  country  depended.'  To  speak  the  plain 
truth,  the  centenary  celebration  of  Cobden's  nativity  was  a  happy 
thought  devised  by  the  guiding  spirits  of  the  Liberal  party  in  order 
to  discredit  the  cause  of  Tariff  reform  under  the  pretence  of  com- 
memorating the  public  services  of  a  well-nigh  forgotten  politician. 
The  more  indiscriminate  and  the  more  exaggerated  were  the  eulogies 
showered  upon  Cobden  and  his  policy,  the  more  obvious  was  the 
inference  that  Mr.  Chamberlain  was  not  deserving  of  public  support. 
If  once  it  could  be  accepted  as  an  article  of  faith  that  the  authority  of 
Cobden  in  matters  of  trade  must  be  accepted  as  final  and  conclusive, 
it  follows  logically  that  there  is  no  necessity  even  to  consider  the 
arguments  which  prove,  or  try  to  prove,  that  a  system  of  trade  which 
may  have  been  beneficial  to  the  community  sixty  years  ago  has, 
owing  to  altered  conditions,  become  prejudicial  in  the  present  year  of 
grace.  When  in  the  heyday  of  the  Papacy  the  Sacred  College  closed 
any  controversy  by  the  formula, '  Roma  locuta  est,'  there  was  no  more 
to  be  said.  In  like  fashion  our  latter-day  Liberals  seem  to  think  that, 
as  the  theories  of  Cobden  are  to  dictate  the  commercial  policy  of  this 


166  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

country  for  all  time,  there  is  an  end  of  all  further  discussion  about 
Tariff  reform. 

I  doubt,  however,  whether  these  tactics  will  meet  with  the  success 
deserved  by  their  ingenuity.  There  is  great  truth  in  the  old  saying 
that  a  live  dog  is  better  than  a  dead  lion.  Without  admitting  that 
canine  or  leonine  characteristics  can  fairly  be  attributed  to  Cobden 
or  to  Chamberlain,  it  is  certain  that  the  latter  is  very  much  alive, 
and  that  the  former  is  not  only  dead  himself,  but  belongs  to  a  dead 
past.  When  the  constituencies  are  called  upon  to  vote,  one  speech 
of  Mr.  Chamberlain's  will  exercise  a  greater  influence  on  public  senti- 
ment than  a  score  of  eulogies  on  Cobden's  sendees  in  having  brought 
about  the  repeal  of  the  Corn  Laws.  There  was  little  or  nothing  about 
Cobden  to  appeal  to  popular  imagination.  He  was  a  kindly,  worthy 
man,  honourable,  both  in  his  public  and  private  life ;  an  energetic 
organiser  of  political  agitation ;  an  excellent  expositor  of  other  men's 
ideas  ;  an  earnest  worker  on  behalf  of  any  cause  he  espoused,  though 
his  earnestness  owed  more  than  half  its  effect  to  his  inability  to  realise 
that  there  are  always  two  sides  to  every  question.  Of  genius  he  had 
not  a  touch.  The  accident  of  fortune  associated  his  name  with  the 
Anti-Corn  Law  crusade,  but  in  reality  Adam  Smith,  Sir  Robert  Peel, 
John  Bright,  George  Thompson,  and  Charles  Villiers  played  equally 
important  parts  in  the  establishment  of  Free  Trade  as  the  basis  of 
our  fiscal  policy.  This  policy,  I  would  add,  owed  its  success  far  more 
to  the  Irish  famine  than  to  the  efforts  of  any  individual,  however 
meritorious.  Even  the  high  literary  ability  and  the  charm  of  style 
possessed  by  my  friend  John  Morley  proved  insufficient  to  make  the 
Life  of  Richard  Cobden  interesting  to  the  general  reader.  To  sum  up, 
Cobden's  is  not  a  name  to  conjure  with,  and  I  believe  before  many 
months  are  over  the  truth  of  this  opinion  will  be  made  manifest  in  a 
way  to  which  even  the  Cobden  Club  will  be  unable  to  shut  their  eyes. 

The  sentence  with  which  I  commence  this  article  reminds  me 
of  another  instance  in  which  the  example  of  China  seems  to  have 
commended  itself  to  the  approval  of  our  Liberal  mandarins.  I  am 
informed  by  persons  well  acquainted  with  the  Celestial  Kingdom  that 
though  the  Chinaman  under  intelligent  discipline  will  make  an  effi- 
cient soldier,  any  real  reorganisation  of  China  as  a  military  Power 
is  rendered  impossible  by  the  extraordinary  respect  and  reverence 
entertained  for  education  by  all  classes  in  the  Empire.  From  the 
days  of  Confucius  the  literati  amongst  his  fellow  countrymen  have 
been  taught  to  believe  that  war  is  an  occupation  unworthy  of  a  rational 
human  being,  that  the  study  of  killing  is  one  which  could  not  be 
pursued  without  loss  of  self-respect,  and  that  proficients  in  the  degrad- 
ing art  of  war  are  not  fit  to  associate  with  men  who  have  earned  dis- 
tinction and  fortune  by  passing  successful  examinations.  This  teaching 
has  so  impressed  itself  upon  the  Chinese  mind  that  no  man  of  any 
social  position  or  standing  will  ever  consent  willingly  to  enter  the  army 


1904  LAST  MONTH  167 

as  a  profession.  To  become  an  officer  is  to  lose  caste,  to  bring  disgrace 
upon  your  relatives  and  even  your  ancestors.  The  result  is  that  the 
offieers  of  the  Celestial  army  are  to-day,  and  have  been  for  centuries, 
men  of  no  character,  who  have  enlisted  in  order  to  save  themselves 
from  destitution,  and  whose  sole  ambition  is  to  add  to  their  inadequate 
pay  by  corruption  and  peculation.  It  would  be  absurd  to  say  that  a 
similar  danger  threatens  the  military  power  of  England.  The  fighting 
instincts  of  our  race  are  happily  too  strong  to  allow  of  our  ever  learning, 
as  a  nation,  to  look  with  contempt  on  the  trade  of  soldiering.  Our 
robust  common-sense  leads  us  to  recognise  the  absurdity  of  the  saying, 
«o  fashionable  in  the  '  forty  years  of  peace '  era,  that  the  pen  is  stronger 
than  the  sword,  or  to  believe  that  courts  of  arbitration  will  ever  remove 
the  necessity  for  standing  armies.  Still,  it  is  impossible  for  any 
impartial  observer  to  be  blind  to  the  fact  that  the  tendency  of  the 
English  Liberals,  as  a  party,  is  to  decry  militarism,  to  deprecate 
Imperialism,  to  spread  abroad  the  conviction  that  the  first  duty  of 
English  statesmanship  is  to  occupy  itself  with  domestic  reforms,  and 
to  remove  social  abuses  rather  than  to  provide  for  the  safety  of  Great 
Britain  and  the  British  Empire.  When  war  is  described  as  con- 
sisting, to  use  Sir  Henry  Campbell-Bannerman's  phrase,  in  '  methods 
of  barbarism,'  when  the  mere  suggestion  of  a  resort  to  conscription  is 
denounced  by  the  organs  of  Liberalism  as  being  an  outrage  upon  the 
working  population  of  the  United  Kingdom,  it  is  impossible  to  avoid 
the  conclusion  that  the  party  which  associates  itself  with  the  traditions 
of  Cobden  is  treading  in  the  footsteps  of  Confucius.  I  do  not  dispute 
the  genuineness  of  Cobden's  convictions.  What  I  object  to  is  the 
assumption  that  these  convictions  were  the  result  of  deep  study  or  of 
any  profound  insight  into  human  nature.  The  basis  of  his  fiscal 
policy  was  that  it  would  be  for  the  good  of  humanity  if  every  nation 
devoted  itself  to  the  cultivation  of  those  products  it  was  best  fitted 
to  produce  by  its  natural  conditions.  According  to  his  theory  England, 
which,  in  virtue  of  her  possession  of  coal  and  iron,  was  then  the  chief, 
almost  the  sole  manufacturing  Power  in  the  world,  was  to  make  herself 
the  workshop  of  the  globe  and  to  retain  her  monopoly  of  production 
by  throwing  open  her  markets  to  all  countries  who  in  return  would 
supply  her  with  bread  stuffs. 

Owing  to  Cobden's  utter  inability  to  comprehend  the  force  of 
nationality  he  failed  to  perceive  that  other  nations  were  not  prepared 
to  forego  the  advantage  of  having  factories  and  workshops  of  their 
own  in  consideration  of  gaining  a  higher  profit  on  their  agricultural 
exports.  The  result  was  that  his  scheme  ended  in  signal  failure.  The 
poliey  of  open  markets  propounded  by  the  Anti-Corn  Law  League, 
instead  of  converting  other  nations  to  Free  Trade,  caused  them, 
without  exception,  to  adopt  the  system  of  Protection,  under  which 
they  have  developed  manufactures  of  their  own  capable  of  under- 
selling the  manufactures  of  England  in  her  home  markets.  In  like 


168  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  July 

fashion  Cobden  was  unable  to  comprehend  that  cheap  food  would  not 
prove  a  sufficient  boon  to  induce  British  workmen  to  forego  the  prospect 
of  earning  higher  wages  by  forming  trade  unions,  whose  reason  of  being 
is  to  raise  the  profits  of  the  workman  at  the  cost  of  his  employer. 
Throughout  his  public  career  Cobden  never  concealed  his  want  of 
sympathy  with  the  attempts  made  by  working  men  to  better  their 
condition  through  co-operation.  Whether  his  views  on  this  point  were 
right  or  wrong  is  not  the  question  under  consideration.  My  only 
reason  for  alluding  to  the  subject  is  to  show  how  little  he  understood 
the  nature  of  the  British  working  classes  if  he  believed  that  to  them 
cheap  bread  was  the  one  thing  needful.  If  proof  were  needed  of  the 
weakness  of  the  Liberal  party  it  would  be  found  in  the  fact  that  they 
have  attempted  to  win  over  the  working  class  electorate  by  recalling 
the  memory  of  Cobden  as  that  of  an  authority  which  outweighs  any 
possible  argument  in  favour  of  tariff  reform.  If  they  are  again  to  regard 
the  cheap  loaf  as  their  in  hoc  signo  vinces  they  will  not  be  long  in  find- 
ing out  their  mistake.  I  should,  therefore,  recommend  them  to  study 
the  example  of  the  Chinese  in  simply  reciting  the  greatness  of  Confucius 
without  giving  reasons  for  their  belief.  I  learn  that  the  following 
eulogy  of  the  sage  is  one  still  popular  in  the  Celestial  Empire  : 

Confucius  !  Confucius !     How  great  was  Confucius ! 

Before  him  there  was  no  Confucius ; 

Since  him  there  has  been  no  other. 

Confucius  1  Confucius !     How  great  was  Confucius ! 

I  venture  to  suggest  that  if  for  Confucius  the  celebrators  of  the 
recent  centenary  had  substituted  the  name  of  Cobden,  and  had  recited 
a  like  stanza  at  their  demonstrations,  they  would  have  saved  them- 
selves an  unnecessary  outpour  of  words  and  have  done  more  to  impress 
upon  their  audiences  the  claim  of  their  hero  to  be  regarded  as  a  man 
whose  wisdom  was  above  discussion.  If  for  the  sake  of  euphony  they 
should  Latinise  the  name  of  Cobden  and  call  him  Cobdenius,  the 
change  would  improve  the  euphony  of  the  stanza,  without  detracting 
from  its  intrinsic  value. 

In  connection  with  this  subject  I  trust  I  may  be  permitted  to 
say  a  few  words  as  to  certain  strictures  on  the  present  writer  which 
have  recently  been  made  by  Lord  Avebury  in  his  treatise  on  Free  Trade, 
and  which  have  been  reproduced  with  warm  approval  in  the  Spectator. 
There  is  nothing  in  those  strictures  of  which  I  have  any  cause  to  com- 
plain, except  that  they  are  utterly  irrelevant  to  the  question  at  issue. 
I  do  not  profess  to  be  an  authority  on  questions  of  political  economy. 
All  I  claim  is  to  be  an  authority,  though  on  a  small  and  humble  scale, 
on  questions  of  common-sense.  I  am  not  sufficiently  conversant 
with  trade  matters  to  decide  between  the  merits  or  demerits  of  Free 
Trade  as  a  working  system.  All  I  contend  is  that  Free  Trade  is  not 
a  dogma  which  cannot  be  called  in  question ;  and  that  the  issue 


1904  LAST  MONTH  169 

between  restricted  and  unrestricted  competition  must  as  a  matter 
of  right,  as  well  as  of  fact,  be  ultimately  decided  by  the  voice  of  the 
country,  not  by  that  of  its  self -constituted  pedagogues.  In  support 
of  this  contention  I  have  dared  to  point  out  that  Cobden,  whatever 
may  be  the  value  of  his  opinions  enunciated  threescore  years  ago,  is 
not  entitled  to  credit  as  a  prophet.  I  am  asked  by  Lord  Avebury 
to  recant  my  words  and  to  acknowledge  Cobden' s  claim  to  prophetic 
wisdom  because  he  foresaw  that  Free  Trade  would  be  good  for  England. 
To  put  forward  this  statement  as  self-evident  is  to  beg  the  question, 
a  mode  of  argument  unworthy  even  of  the  Cobden  Club.  Lord 
Avebury  proceeds  to  dispute  another  statement  of  mine  made  also  in 
these  pages,  that  '  the  opinion  of  the  "  civilised  world,"  about  which 
we  used  to  hear  so  much  during  the  Boer  war,  is  dead  against  Free 
Trade.'  His  Lordship  admits  that  '  in  practice,  no  doubt,  most 
countries  are  Protectionist.'  He  retorts  with  a  tu  quoque  remark  that 
I  am  not  justified  in  making  this  statement,  because  I  attached  no 
value  to  the  opinion  of  the  civilised  world  concerning  the  Boer  war. 
The  fallacy  of  this  retort  is  too  obvious  to  be  overlooked  even  by 
Macaulay's  typical  schoolboy.  Let  me  say  in  passing  from  this 
subject  that  Lord  Avebury's  treatise  on  Free  Trade  is  free  from  the 
personal  vituperations  of  Mr.  Chamberlain  which,  as  a  rule,  discredit 
the  utterances  of  the  Unionist  Free  Fooders. 

I  note  one  feature  in  the  speech  delivered  last  month  by  Lord 
Rosebery  at  the  Liberal  League  for  which  I  must  express  my  sincere 
gratitude.  I  do  not  find  a  single  reference  to  Cobden  or  his  centenary 
contained  therein.  The  omission,  I  think,  can  best  be  accounted  for 
by  the  supposition  that  his  Lordship  is  alive  to  the  fact  that  nowadays 
the  name  of  Cobden  is  not  a  trump  card  even  in  the  Liberal  pack,  and 
that  if  the  Liberals  hope  to  win  the  day  at  the  next  general  election 
the  less  they  say  about  the  Anti-Corn  Law  League  the  better  for  their 
prospects  of  success.  The  Liberal  League  was,  if  my  memory  serves  me 
rightly,  founded  during  the  war  by  a  small  section  of  the  Opposition 
who  were  unable  to  join  the  hostility  of  the  Liberals  to  the  Boer  war. 
and  who  were  anxious  to  dissociate  themselves  from  the  Anti-Imperialist 
policy  espoused  by  their  Radical  colleagues.  Having  formed  the 
league,  and  having  thereby  recorded  their  protest  against  being 
described  as  Pro-Boers  and  Little  Englanders,  they  felt  under  no 
obligation  to  take  any  further  steps  to  convert  their  fellow  Liberals 
to  sounder  views  of  policy.  They  considered  themselves  to  be  the 
elite  of  Liberalism  ;  and  they  were  convinced  the  presence  in  their 
ranks  of  Lord  Rosebery  would  suffice,  to  quote  his  own  words,  '  to 
rescue  and  differentiate  sane  Imperialism  from  shoddy  Imperialism.' 
Having  thus  vindicated  the  orthodoxy  of  the  League  in  Imperial 
matters,  the  ex-Premier  proceeded  to  declare  that  '  in  no  case  he  was 
aware  of,  and  on  no  occasion,  has  loyalty  to  the  Liberal  League  con- 
flicted in  the  slightest  degree  with  loyalty  to  the  leaders  and  the  policy 


170  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  July 

of  the  Opposition.'    In  other  words,  the  Liberal  League  supports 
Imperialism  in  the  abstract,  but  declines  to  support  it  in  the  concrete. 
Such  an  attitude  undoubtedly  avoids  the  necessity  of  taking  any 
action  which  might  commit  the  League  definitely  to  the  cause  even  of 
sane  Imperialism.    Nothing  can  be  more  comprehensive  than  Lord 
Rosebery's  statement  of  the  terms  on  which  outsiders  can  obtain 
admission   to   the   League.     '  You '    (the   Liberal  Leaguers)    '  want 
everybody  that  you  can  rally  to  your  standard — Liberal  Leaguers 
or  official  Liberals,  or  the  various  other  leagues  that  exist,  and  besides 
those  let  me  say  that  you  require,  when  you  can  secure  them  on  any- 
thing like  fair  terms,  all  the  support  of  those  Tories  who  have  fought 
for  Free  Trade  under  circumstances  so  difficult  and  dangerous  to 
themselves.'    We  know  what  the  standard  is  under  which  Liberals  of 
all  sorts  are  invited  to  enlist ;  we  need  no  telling  that  the  object  of  the 
campaign  is  to  turn  out  the  Government  and  to  place  the  Liberals  in 
office.     But  as  for  what  ends  and  for  what  purposes  their  tenure  of 
office  is  to  be  employed  is  a  matter  concerning  which  we  are  left  in 
utter  ignorance.    We  are  furnished  instead,  by  Lord  Rosebery,  with 
a  series  of  prolix  platitudes.    We  are  assured  that  efficiency  is  to  be 
the  dominant  feature  of  the  coming  Liberal  Administration ;  that  oppor- 
tunism will  not  be  excluded  from  consideration,  and  that  '  Liberalism 
is  no  particular  measure,  but  it  is  the  frame  and  spirit  of  mind  in  which 
we  approach  great  political  questions.  .  .  .  Liberalism  is  the  readiness 
to  accept  and  to  assimilate  the  best  ideas  of  the  time,  and  to  apply 
them  honestly  in  action.'    As  to  this  definition  of  Liberalism,  I  need 
only  remark  that  it  is  a  repetition  of  the  stock  phrases  by  which  every 
Ministry,  Whig  or  Tory,  Liberal  or  Conservative,  Unionist  or  anti- 
Unionist,  has  heralded  its  accession  to  office.     If  the  end  and  aim  of 
the  Liberal  League  is  to  furnish  Lord  Rosebery  with  an  opportunity  for 
uttering  commonplace  truisms  in  a  graceful  manner  there  is  no  more 
to  be  said,  except  that  his  Lordship  has  an  unlimited  flow  of  words, 
and  that  his  followers  have  a  still  more  unlimited  store  of  patience. 
If,  however,  I  am  rightly  informed,  the  real  reason  which  justifies  the 
existence  of  the  Liberal  League  is  the  necessity  of  not  allowing  Lord 
Rosebery's  claims  to  the  next  Liberal  Premiership  to  drop  out  of 
sight.     The  League  is,  in  fact,  an  agency  for  the  advancement  of 
Lord  Rosebery's  candidature  in  the  event  of  the  Premiership  being 
thrown   open  to  competition.    Fortunately,   perhaps,  from  a  Con- 
servative point  of  view,Tiis  Lordship  has  an  invincible  repugnance  to 
putting  himself  forward  as  the  leader  of  his  party.    He  is  eager  to 
secure  the  apples  of  office,  but  he  insists  that  the  apples  should  fall 
into  his  mouth,  and  even  declines  to  take  any  part  in  shaking  the  apple 
tree.    This  is  the  explanation  of  the  revival  of  the  Liberal  League. 
The  muster-roll  has  been  called.     Sir  Edward  Grey,  Sir  Henry  Fowler, 
Mr.  Asquith,  Mr.  Haldane,  and  some  sixteen  members  of  Parliament 
have  responded  to  the  call,  and  the  Radical  section  of  the  Opposition 


1904  LAST  MONTH  171 

have  been  given  to  understand  that  if  they  want  to  see  a  Liberal 
administration  in  office  they  can  only  do  so  on  condition  that  they  are 
willing  to  accept  Lord  Rosebery  as  the  future  Premier.  If  we  are  to 
have  a  Liberal  Ministry  in  office  after  the  General  Election  I  should 
prefer  either  Lord  Rosebery  or  any  of  his  squires  to  Sir  Henry  Camp- 
bell-Bannerman.  But  at  the  best  the  choice  between  a  Rosebery  or  a 
Campbell-Bannerman  Ministry  would  only  be  a  choice  of  evils.  For 
my  own  part  I  distrust  the  good  faith  or  the  sagacity  of  a  statesman 
who,  while  he  acknowledges  that  the  support  of  the  Irish  Nationalists 
is  essential  to  the  maintenance  of  the  Liberal  party  in  office,  seriously 
informs  his  personal  supporters  that  the  policy  of  a  Liberal  administra- 
tion with  respect  to  Home  Rule  will  not  be  affected  by  the  necessity 
of  conciliating  the  Home  Rule  vote.  Hitherto,  whenever  any  criticism 
has  been  made  as  to  the  qualifications  of  the  various  politicians  who 
are  destined  in  their  own  opinion,  and  in  that  of  their  followers,  to 
occupy  prominent  positions  in  the  Ministry  which  is  to  replace  the 
Unionist  Government,  the  critics  were  met  with  one  stock  rejoinder. 
If  we  doubted  the  special  fitness  of  Sir  Henry  Campbell-Bannerman  to 
become  once  more  Secretary  of  State  for  War ;  if  we  were  not  con- 
fident as  to  Mr.  Asquith  being  competent  to  discharge  the  duties  of 
the  leader  of  the  House  of  Commons ;  if  we  ventured  to  suggest  that 
Mr.  Lloyd  George  might  cut  a  sorry  figure  as  a  Cabinet  Minister,  or  if 
we  raised  some  other  equally  frivolous  objection,  we  were  told  that  at 
all  events  Lord  Rosebery  was  pointed  out  by  the  consensus  of  public 
opinion  as  the  ideal  Secretary  of  State  for  Foreign  Affairs.  Even 
this  consolation  is  no  longer  forthcoming.  The  ex-Premier  went  out 
of  his  way,  while  expatiating  to  the  Liberal  League  upon  the  imminence 
of  a  great  Liberal  reaction,  to  denounce  the  Anglo-French  compact  by 
saying  that '  no  more  one-sided  agreement  was  ever  concluded  between 
two  Powers  at  peace  with  each  other.'  In  order  to  leave  no  doubt  in 
the  minds  of  the  Liberal  Leaguers  as  to  which  side  had  had  the  worst 
of  the  bargain,  his  Lordship  proceeded  to  drive  home  his  assertions  by 
remarking  :  '  I  hope  and  trust,  but  I  hope  and  trust  rather  than  I 
believe,  that  the  Power  which  holds  Gibraltar  may  never  have  cause  to 
regret  having  handed  Morocco  over  to  a  great  military  Power.'  Now, 
if  words  have  any  meaning,  these  words  mean  that  France  purports 
to  employ  the  free  hand  we  have  accorded  to  her  in  dealing  with 
Morocco  to  deprive  us  of  our  naval  supremacy  in  the  Mediterranean. 
Even  if  this  insinuation  were  based  upon  any  serious  foundation  there 
was  no  possible  good  to  be  gained  by  throwing  doubt  on  the  good 
faith  of  France,  and  the  very  last  man  in  the  whole  of  the  United 
Kingdom  who  could  have  been  justified  in  making  such  an  aspersion 
is  the  predecessor  of  Mr.  Balfour  in  the  Premiership  and  of  Lord 
Lansdowne  at  the  Foreign  Office.  Both  as  Prime  Minister  and  as 
Foreign  Secretary  Lord  Rosebery  must  have  had  ample  opportunities 
of  observing  how  seriously  England  was  hampered  in  consolidating 


172  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUEY       July  1904 

her  authority  in  Egypt  by  the  constant  hostility  of  France.  Yet, 
knowing  what  he  does,  he  has  deliberately  striven  in  his  address  to  the 
Liberal  League  to  depreciate  the  advantages  England  derives  from 
having  France  with  her,  instead  of  against  her,  in  her  administration 
of  Egyptian  affairs.  Since  his  retirement  from  office  his  Lordship  has 
lost  no  opportunity  of  dilating  on  the  arduousness  of  his  labours  in 
Downing  Street.  Possibly,  if  he  had  worked  fewer  hours  and  indited 
fewer  despatches,  he  might  have  acquired  a  better  knowledge  of  foreign 
affairs  than  he  now  seems  to  possess.  The  only  explanation  of  the 
extraordinary  indiscretion  thus  committed  by  Lord  Rosebery  is  that 
he  was  led  astray  by  his  desire  to  disparage  an  agreement  which  he  is 
shrewd  enough  to  see  has  done  much  to  influence  popular  opinion  in 
favour  of  the  Government  under  whose  control  a  cordial  understanding 
has  been  established  between  France  and  England .  So  long,  however,  as 
he  could  at  last  convey  the  impression  how  much  better  a  bargain  he 
could  have  made  for  this  country,  supposing  he  had  been  in  command  at 
Downing  Street,  he  was  apparently  indifferent  to  minor  considerations. 
Such  at  least  is  the  best  excuse  I  can  suggest  for  a  speech  that  never 
ought  to  have  been  spoken,  and  above  all  not  by  the  speaker  who 
gave  it  utterance. 

Somehow  or  other  neither  the  resuscitation  of  Cobden  nor  the  re- 
appearance of  Lord  Rosebery  as  a  candidate  for  the  Premiership 
seems  to  have  got  matters  much  forwarder  in  our  home  politics.  The 
Opposition  appears  for  the  time  to  have  lost  heart,  while  the  Ministry 
are  sanguine  as  to  their  retention  of  power  till  after  the  close  of  the 
Session,  and  of  their  being  able  before  Parliament  is  prorogued  to  show 
a  satisfactory  record  of  legislation.  Personally  I  attribute  the  lull  of 
public  interest  in  political  controversies  to  the  fact  that  the  fortunes 
of  the  war  now  waging  in  the  Far  East  monopolise  popular  attention. 
The  more  protracted  the  war  seems  likely  to  become  the  more  men's 
thoughts  are  turned  to  the  effect  the  campaign,  whichever  way  it  may 
end,  must  necessarily  produce  on  the  fortunes  of  all  non-belligerent 
States,  and  especially  of  the  British  Empire. 

The  war  in  the  Far  East  seems  to  me  likely,  in  the  near  future,  to 
bring  about  indirect  results  of  far  graver  importance  than  its  direct 
effects  on  the  fortunes  of  the  two  belligerents.  Even  if  Russia,  as 
now  seems  daily  less  probable,  should  come  out  victorious  from  the 
conflict  the  world  will  be  confronted  with  the  hard  fact  that  an  Oriental 
nation,  with  a  code  of  religion  and  morality  utterly  different  from,  if 
not  antagonistic  to,  our  European  ideas,  has  attained  a  standard 
of  patriotic  altruism  far  exceeding  any  ideal  attained  before  or 
even  conceived  as  possible  in  this  old  world  of  ours. 

EDWARD  DICEY. 


The  Editor  of  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  cannot  undertake 
to  return  unaccepted  MSS. 


THE 


NINETEENTH 
CENTURY 

AND  AFTER 

XX 


No.  CGCXXX— AUGUST  1904 


JAPAN  AND    THE   COMMENCEMENT 
OF  THE  WAR  WITH  RUSSIA 


AMOXG  other  questions  raised  by  an  article  from  the  pen  of  Sir  John 
Macdonell,  in  this  Review  for  July,  on  '  The  Present  War,'  there  is 
one  on  which  I  should  like  to  offer  some  observations  from  a  Japanese 
point  of  view. 

Sir  John  Macdonell  appears  to  think  that  our  attack  came  to 
Russia  as  a  surprise,  and  was  therefore  unjustifiable ;  and  whilst  he 
makes  reservations  on  account  of  his  lack  of  accurate  information 
concerning  the  actual  state  of  affairs  at  the  commencement  of  the 
war,  he  proceeds  to  argue  that  it  was  a  nice  point  whether  the  negotia- 
tions had  or  had  not,  on  the  8th  or  9th  of  February  last,  reached  a 
stage  at  which  discussion  had  really  been  abandoned,  and  both  sides 
had  resolved  to  accept  the  arbitrament  of  battle.  Sir  John  seems  to 
consider  that  notice  should  be  given  to  an  adversary,  before  beginning  a 
war,  that  hostilities  have  become  inevitable. 

I  will  not  say  anything  about  the  fact  that  the  first  shot  was  fired 
by  the  Russians  on  the  Japanese  vessels  at  Schimulpo ;  nor  is  it  ray 

VOL.  LVI— No.  330  N 


174  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

intention  to  enter  upon  any  justification  of  Japan's  course  of  action 
on  the  common  theory  of  international  law,  or  on  the  basis  of  the 
prevailing  practice  in  such  cases,  or  it  could  be  shown  that  a  formal 
declaration  is  not  needed  to  constitute  a  state  of  war.  On  the  con- 
trary, I  rather  appreciate  Sir  John's  contention  that  no  blows  should 
be  struck  without  adequate  warning,  or  while  diplomatists  are  still 
debating  the  matters  in  dispute.  And  it  is  my  desire  to  prove  that 
Japan,  far  from  taking  her  enemy  unawares,  did  actually  do  precisely 
as  Sir  John  Macdonell  is  anxious  to  show  she  ought  to  have  done,  and 
that,  in  the  sense  of  his  comment  on  the  operations,  there  was  no 
room  for  the  Russians  to  be  surprised  in  any  degree  whatever. 

I  will  first  endeavour  to  demonstrate  the  truth  of  this  proposition 
by  recalling  the  successive  stages  of  those  negotiations  which  cul- 
minated in  hostilities ;  but  it  is  unnecessary  to  dwell  upon  the  earlier 
part  of  the  diplomatic  correspondence,  nor  is  it  worth  while  to  enlarge 
either  on  the  flagrant  neglect  of  Russia  to  fulfil  her  own  pledges,  or 
on  the  persistency  with  which  she  sought  to  (the  expression  may  be 
pardoned,  since  there  is  no  other  term  that  applies  equally  well)  make 
a  fool  of  Japan  throughout  the  protracted  negotiations.  It  may 
suffice  to  point  out  that,  from  the  very  nature  of  those  negotiations, 
any  failure  to  arrive  at  a  satisfactory  understanding  was  tantamount 
to  an  admission  that  war  was  inevitable. 

The  most  acute  phase  was  reached  in  November  1903,  as  was 
plainly  indicated  in  the  telegram  despatched  on  the  21st  of  that  month 
to  Mr.  Kurino,  the  Japanese  Minister  at  St.  Petersburg,  by  Baron 
Komura,  Minister  for  Foreign  Affairs  in  the  Government  of  Tokio,  in 
which  the  following  passage  occurs  : 

Baron  Bosen  added  that  he  had  not  yet  received  any  instructions  on  the 
subject  of  the  counter-proposals,  consequently  you  are  instructed  to  see  Count 
Lamsdorff  as  soon  as  possible,  and  after  explaining  to  him  Baron  Eosen's  state- 
ments, as  above,  you  will  say  that  the  Japanese  Government  are  anxious  to 
proceed  with  the  negotiations  with  all  possible  expedition,  and  you  will  urge 
him  to  exert  his  influence  to  secure  the  early  despatch  of  instructions  to  Baron 
Bosen,  in  order  that  negotiations  may  be  resumed  and  concluded  without  delay. 

This  view  was,  of  course,  communicated  to  the  Russian  Foreign 
Minister,  and  after  further  futile  endeavours  on  Japan's  part  to  elicit 
an  early  reply.  Baron  Kornura  telegraphed  to  Mr.  Kurino  on  the 
1st  of  December  1903,  again  urging  the  importance  of  a  speedy  solution 
of  the  question  at  issue,  in  yet  more  plain-spoken  fashion ;  and  he 
wound  up  his  despatch  thus  : 

In  these  circumstances  the  Japanese  Government  cannot  but  regard  with 
grave  concern  the  situation,  for  which  the  delays  in  the  negotiations  are  largely 
responsible.  You  are  instructed  to  see  Count  Lamsdorff  as  soon  as  possible,  and 
place  the  foregoing  considerations  before  him  in  such  form  and  manner  as  to 
make  your  representations  as  impressive  as  possible.  You  will  add  that  the 
Japanese  Government  believe  they  are  rendering  a  service  to  the  general 
interest  in  thus  frankly  explaining  to  the  Bussian  Government  the  actual  state 
of  things. 


1904  JAPAN  AND   THE  WAR  175 

When  Mr.  Kurino  made  these  representations,  which  could  scarcely 
have  been  more  explicit,  to  Count  Lamsdorff,  the  Russian  Minister 
said  that  '  he  would  fully  explain  the  urgency  of  the  matter  on  the 
occasion  of  his  audience  on  the  following  Tuesday ' ;  but  things  in 
reality  were  made  to  drag  on,  and  the  Russian  preference  for  the 
game  of  diplomatic  seesaw  was  exemplified  to  the  full,  until  at  last, 
on  the  23rd  of  December,  when  three  whole  weeks  had  been  frittered 
away,  Mr.  Kurino,  reporting  to  Baron  Komura  an  interview  which 
he  had  just  had  with  Count  Lamsdorff,  thus  ended  his  despatch  : 

In  conclusion,  I  stated  to  him  that  under  the  circumstances  it  might  cause 
serious  difficulties,  even  complications,  if  \ve  failed  to  come  to  an  entente,  and 
I  hoped  he  would  exercise  his  best  influence  so  as  to  enable  us  to  reach  the 
desired  end. 

On  the  6th  of  January  1904  a  Russian  reply  was  handed  at  Tokio 
by  Baron  Rosen  to  Baron  Komura,  but  in  substance  it  amounted  to 
little  more  than  a  repetition,  save  for  mere  changes  of  wording,  of 
what  had  gone  before,  and  the  attitude  of  Russia,  it  was  plain,  had 
undergone  no  sensible  alteration.  Speaking  candidly,  there  was  an 
end  to  all  hope ;  but  the  Government  of  Tokio,  still  willing  to  exert 
itself,  and  even  to  make  some  concession,  again  invited  the  Russian 
Government,  on  the  13th  of  January ,rto  reconsider  the  matter,  in  terms 
which,  though  conciliatory  enough,  constituted  practically  an  ultimatum. 
In  the  despatch  conveying  this  decision  to  the  Russian  Government 
the  subjoined  phrase  occurred  : 

The  grounds  for  these  amendments  having  been  frequently  and  fully 
explained  on  previous  occasions,  the  Imperial  Government  do  not  think  it 
necessary  to  repeat  the  explanations.  It  is  sufficient  here  to  express  their 
earnest  hope  for  reconsideration  by  the  Imperial  Kussian  Government. 

And  again  : 

The  above-mentioned  amendments  being  proposed  by  the  Imperial  Govern- 
ment entirely  in  a  spirit  of  conciliation,  it  is  expected  that  they  will  be  received 
in  the  same  spirit  at  the  hands  of  the  Imperial  Russian  Government ;  and  the 
Imperial  Government  further  hope  for  an  early  reply  from  the  Imperial  Eussian 
Government,  since  further  delay  in  the  solution  of  the  question  will  be  extremely 
disadvantageous  to  the  two  countries. 

Even  in  the  face  of  such  earnest  representations  of  the  danger  of 
procrastination  Russia  still  dallied,  and  on  the  23rd  and  26th  of 
January  1904  Baron  Komura  successively  telegraphed  to  Mr.  Kurino, 
pressing  for  a  prompt  response.  In  one  of  the  telegrams  Mr.  Kurino 
was  instructed  to  seek  an  interview  with  Count  Lamsdorff  and  state 
to  him,  as  a  direct  instruction  received  from  the  Japanese  Government, 
that, 

in  the  opinion  of  the  Imperial  Government,  a  further  prolongation  of  the  present 
state  of  things  being  calculated  to  accentuate  the  gravity  of  the  situation,  it  is 
their  earnest  hope  that  they  will  be  honoured  with  an  early  reply,  and  that  they 
wish  to  know  at  what  time  they  may  expect  to  receive  the  reply. 

N  2 


176  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

On  the  28th  of  January  Mr.  Kurino  reported  to  Baron  Komura 
his  interview  with  Count  Lamsdorff,  in  which  he  explains  how 

He  (Count  Larnsdorff)  stated  that  -the  Grand  Duke  Alexis  and  the  Minister 
of  Marine  are  to  be  received  in  audience  next  Monday,  and  the  Minister  of  War 
and  himself  on  Tuesday,  and  he  thinks  an  answer  will  be  sent  to  Admiral 
Alexeieff  on  the  latter  day.  I  pointed  out  the  urgent  necessity  to  accelerate  the 
despatch  of  an  answer  as  much  as  possible,  '  because  further  prolongation  of 
tlie present  condition  is  not  only  undesirable,  but  rather  dangerous.'  I  added 
that  all  the  while  the  world  is  loud  with  rumours,  and  that  I  hoped  he  would 
take  special  steps  so  as  to  have  an  answer  sent  at  an  earlier  date  than  men- 
tioned. He  replied  that  '  he  knoivs  tJie  existing  condition  of  things  very  ivsll, 
but  that  the  dates  of  audience  being  fixed  as  above  mentioned,  it  is  not  now 
possible  to  change  them ' ;  and  he  repeated  that  '  he  will  do  his  best  to  send  the 
reply  next  Tuesday  (the  2nd  of  February).' 

Upon  this  Baron  Komura,  still  anxious  beyond  measure  to  avoid 
the  risks  attendant  upon  these  indefinite  conditions,  again  telegraphed, 
on  the  30th  of  January,  to  Mr.  Kurino  to  see  Count  Lamsdorff  at  the 
earliest  opportunity  and  state  to  him  that : 

Having  reported  to  your  Government  that  the  Kussian  Government  would 
probably  give  a  reply  on  next  Tuesday,  you  have  been  instructed  to  say  to 
Count  Lamsdorff  that,  being  fully  convinced  of  the  serious  disadvantage  to  the 
two  Powers  concerned  of  the  further  prolongation  of  the  present  situation,  the 
Imperial  Government  hoped  that  they  might  be  able  to  receive  the  reply  of  the 
Kussian  Government  earlier  than  the  date  mentioned  by  Count  Lamsdorff. 
As  it,  however,  appears  that  the  receipt  of  the  reply  at  an  earlier  date  is  not 
possible,  the  Imperial  Government  wish  to  know  whether  they  will  be  honoured 
with  the  reply  at  the  date  mentioned  by  Count  Lamsdorff,  namely,  next  Tuesday 
(2nd  of  February),  or,  if  it  is  not  possible,  what  will  be  the  exact  date  on  which 
the  reply  is  to  be  given. 

On  the  evening  of  the  31st  of  January  Mr.  Kurino  saw  Count 
Lamsdorff,  who  said  that  he 

fully  appreciated  the  gravity  of  the  present  situation,  and  was  certainly 
desirous  to  send  an  answer  as  quickly  as  possible,  but  that  the  question  was  a 
very  serious  one  and  not  lightly  to  be  dealt  with.  The  opinions  of  the  Ministers 
concerned  and  of  Admiral  Alexeieff  had  to  be  brought  into  harmony — hence  the 
delay.  As  to  the  date  of  sending  an  answer,  it  was  not  possible  for  him  to  give 
the  exact  date,  as  it  entirely  depended  on  the  decision  of  the  Emperor,  though 
he  would  not  fail  to  uso  his  efforts  to  hurry  the  matter. 

It  was  not  until  the  fifth  day  after  this  interview  which  Mr.  Kurino 
had  with  Count  Lamsdorff,  and  the  third  day  after  the  reply  had  been 
promised  to  be  given,  namely,  on  the  5th  of  February  1904,  at 
2.15  P.M.,  that  Baron  Komura  telegraphed  to  Mr.  Kurino  as  follows  : 

Further  prolongation  of  the  present  situation  being  inadmissible,  the  Imperial 
Government  have  decided  to  terminate  the  pending  negotiations  and  to  take 
such  independent  action  as  they  may  deem  necessary  to  defend  their  menaced 
position  and  to  protect  their  rights  and  interests.  Accordingly,  you  are 
instructed  to  address  to  Count  Lamsdorff,  immediately  upon  receipt  of  this 
telegram,  a  signed  Note  to  the  following  effect : 


1904  JAPAN  AND   THE  WAR  177 

'  The  undersigned,  Envoy  Extraordinary  and  Minister  Plenipotentiary  of  his 
Majesty  the  Emperor  of  Japan,  has  the  honour,  in  pursuance  of  instructions 
from  his  Government,  to  address  to  his  Excellency  the  Minister  for  Foreign 
Affairs  of  his  Majesty  the  Emperor  of  All  the  Eussias  the  following  com- 
munication : 

'  The  Government  of  H.M.  the  Emperor  of  Japan  regard  the  independence 
and  territorial  integrity  of  the  Empire  of  Korea  as  essential  to  their  own  repose 
and  safety,  and  they  are  consequently  unable  to  view  with  indifference  any 
action  tending  to  render  the  position  of  Korea  insecure. 

'  The  successive  rejections  by  the  Imperial  Eussian  Government,  by  means 
of  inadmissible  amendments,  of  Japan's  proposals  respecting  Korea,  the  adop- 
tion of  which  the  Imperial  Government  regarded  as  indispensable  to  assure  the 
independence  and  territorial  integrity  of  the  Korean  Empire  and  to  safeguard 
Japan's  preponderating  interests  in  the  peninsula,  coupled  with  the  successive 
refusals  of  the  Imperial  Russian  Government  to  enter  into  engagements  to 
respect  China's  territorial  integrity  in  Manchuria,  which  is  seriously  menaced 
by  their  continued  occupation  of  the  province,  notwithstanding  their  treaty 
engagements  with  China  and  their  repeated  assurances  to  other  Powers  pos- 
sessing interests  in  those  regions,  have  made  it  necessary  for  the  Imperial 
Government  seriously  to  consider  what  measures  of  self-defence  they  are  called 
upon  to  take. 

'  In  the  presence  of  delays  which  remain  largely  unexplained,  and  naval  and 
military  activities  which  it  is  difficult  to  reconcile  with  entirely  pacific  amis,  the 
Imperial  Government  have  exercised  in  the  pending  negotiations  a  degree  of 
forbearance  which  they  believe  affords  abundant  proof  of  their  loyal  desire  to 
remove  from  their  relations  with  the  Imperial  Eussian  Government  every 
cause  for  future  misunderstanding ;  but,  finding  in  their  efforts  no  prospect  of 
securing  from  the  Imperial  Eussian  Government  an  adhesion  either  to  Japan's 
moderate  and  unselfish  proposals,  or  to  any  other  proposals  likely  to  establish  a 
firm  and  enduring  peace  in  the  extreme  East,  the  Imperial  Government  have 
no  alternative  than  to  terminate  the  present  futile  negotiations. 

'  In  adopting  that  course  the  Imperial  Government  reserve  to  themselves  the 
right  to  take  such  independent  action  as  they  may  deem  best  to  consolidate  and 
defend  their  menaced  position,  as  well  as  to  protect  their  established  rights  and 
legitimate  interests.' 

Simultaneously  with  the  presentation  of  this  Note  Mr.  Kurino  was 
instructed  to  address  Count  Lamsdorff  in  writing  to  the  following 
effect : 

The  undersigned  Envoy  Extraordinary,  &c.,  &c.,  has  the  honour,  in  pursu- 
ance of  instructions  from  his  Government,  to  acquaint  H.E.  the  Minister  for 
Foreign  Affairs,  &c.,  &<;.,  that  the  Imperial  Government  of  Japan,  having 
exhausted,  without  effect,  every  means  of  conciliation,  with  a  view  to  the  removal 
from  their  relations  with  the  Imperial  Russian  Government  of  every  cause  for 
future  complications,  and  finding  that  their  just  representations  and  moderate 
and  unselfish  proposals  in  the  interest  of  a  firm  and  lasting  peace  in  the  extreme 
East  are  not  receiving  the  consideration  which  is  their  due,  have  resolved  to 
sever  their  diplomatic  relations  with  the  Imperial  Eussian  Government,  which 
for  the  reason  named  have  ceased  to  possess  any  value. 

In  further  fulfilment  of  the  command  of  his  Government,  the  undersigned 
has  also  the  honour  to  announce  to  H.E.  Count  Lamsdorff  that  it  is  his  intention 
to  take  his  departure  from  St.  Petersburg,  with  the  Staff  of  the  Imperial 
Legation. 

These  Notes  were  presented  to  Count  LamsdorS  by  Mr.  Kurino  on 


178  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUBY  Aug. 

the  6th  of  February,  at  4  P.M.,  and  on  the  same  day  Baron  Komura 
conveyed  a  formal  intimation  to  Baron  Rosen,  in  Tokio,  in  the  sense 
that 

Whereas  the  Japanese  Government  had  made  every  effort  to  arrive  at  an 
amicable  settlement  of  the  Manchurian  question  with  Russia,  the  latter  had  not 
evinced  any  disposition  to  reciprocate  this  peaceful  purpose.  Therefore  Japan 
could  not  continue  the  diplomatic  conferences.  She  was  regretfully  compelled 
to  take  independent  action  for  the  protection  of  her  rights  and  interests,  and  she 
must  decline  to  accept  the  responsibility  of  any  incidents  that  might  occur  in 
consequence. 

A  dispassionate  perusal  of  all  the  foregoing  despatches  cannot  fail 
to  lead  the  student  of  history  to  the  conclusion  that  repeated  warnings 
were  given  by  Japan  in  the  successive  stages  of  the  negotiations,  and 
that  the  last  two  despatches,  dated  the  5th  of  February,  left  absolutely 
no  room  for  doubt  that  Japan  had  finally,  though  reluctantly, 
arrived  at  the  conclusion  that  war  was  inevitable.  The  wording  is 
polite,  but  who  can  doubt  that  it  was  a  clear  notice  of  war  ? 

I  must  go  farther  than  this ;  and  it  will,  I  think,  be  equally  plain 
when  I  have  finished  that  not  only  had  Japan  made  up  her  rnind  upon 
this  point,  but  that  Russia  by  her  actions — which  '  speak  louder  than 
words  ' — conclusively  manifested  that  her  intentions  were  warlike  too. 
First,  let  me  mention  that  the  day  on  which  Count  Lamsdorff  had 
led  Mr.  Kurino  to  expect  that  the  reply  would  be  ready  was  Tuesday, 
the  2nd  of  February.  The  day  on  which  negotiations  were  finally 
broken  ofi  was  Saturday,  the  6th  of  February.  On  the  intervening 
Thursday  the  Russian  fleet  at  Port  Arthur  suddenly  emerged  from 
harbour  and  steamed  out  for  hours  to  the  south-eastward,  ultimately 
returning  to  port.  For  what  purpose  this  cruise  was  undertaken 
could  not  be  divined,  but  it  created  of  necessity  intense  excitement 
and  anxiety  in  Japan,  where  it  was  interpreted  as  the  prelude  to  some 
desperate  measure,  and  the  activity  of  the  Russian  naval  squadron, 
thus  exemplified,  is  wholly  inconsistent  with  the  theory  of  unprepared- 
ness.  It  should  be  remembered  that  for  a  long  time  before  this  Russia 
had  been  pouring  regiment  after  regiment  into  Manchuria,  her  Cossacks 
had  invaded  Korea,  warship  after  warship  had  been  despatched  from 
Western  waters  to  reinforce  the  fleet  which  she  already  had  in  Far 
Eastern  seas,  and  in  her  diplomacy  she  had  displayed  a  persistent  arro- 
gance which  contrasted  strongly  with  the  conciliatory  attitude  of  Japan. 

But  this  is  not  all.  At  the  moment  when  Admiral  Togo  actually 
made  his  attack  the  Russian  ships  laij  outside  the  harbour  in  a  perfect 
battle  array,  in  front  of  the  shore  forts  and  batteries  of  the  fortress,  a 
position  that  they  had  taken  up  on  their  return  from  their  cruise  to 
the  south-eastward.  Wherein  was  the  unpreparedness  ?  If  the 
officers  of  the  Russian  ships  were  caught  in  an  unguarded  moment, 
blame  must  not  be  imputed  to  the  Japanese.  The  cause  must  rather 
be  sought  in  a  misconception  on  the  part  of  the  Russians  of  the  watchful 


1904  JAPAN  AND   THE  WAE  179 

strategy  which  the  situation  demanded.  The  facts  are,  moreover, 
that  the  Russian  ships  had  lain  under  a  full  head  of  steam  for  days 
off  the  Port  Arthur  entrance,  had  been  continually  using  their  search- 
lights as  though  they  apprehended  an  attack,  the  battleships  had 
their  decks  cleared  for  action,  and  the  instant  that  the  first  torpedo 
was  launched  the  Russians  opened  fire  on  the  Japanese  boats. 

These  remarks  should  alone  suffice  to  show  that  Russia  was  not 
taken  by  surprise ;  but  I  will  show  a  few  well-authenticated  figures  in 
addition.  Her  warlike  preparations  in  the  Far  East  had  been  going 
on  from  the  previous  April,  when  she  ought  by  right  to  have  been 
completing  the  evacuation  of  Manchuria  in  accordance  with  her 
solemn  pledges.  In  the  remaining  months  of  1903  she  despatched  to 
Far  Eastern  waters 

Combined 
Tonnage 

Three  battleships        ........  38,488 

One  armoured  cruiser         .......  7,727 

Five  other  cruisers 26,417 

Seven  destroyers 2,450 

One  gunboat 1,344 

Two  mine-laying  craft 6,000 

Seven  other  destroyers  were  sent  by  rail  to  Port  Arthur  and  there 
put  together,  and  two  vessels  of  the  '  Volunteer '  Fleet  were  armed 
and  hoisted  the  Russian  naval  ensign  at  Vladivostock. 

On  land  the  increase  of  the  Russian  forces  was  equally  marked. 
The  known  augmentations,  subsequent  to  the  end  of  June  1903,  were 
two  infantry  brigades,  two  artillery  battalions,  and  a  large  force  of 
cavalry.  The  total  was  continually  being  increased  by  troops  being 
sent  by  train  from  Russia,  up  to  40,000,  and  plans  were  made  for 
despatching  over  200,000  more  men.  In  October  a  train  of  fourteen 
cars  was  hurriedly  sent  off,  laden  with  the  equipment  of  a  field  hospital. 

On  the  21st  of  January  two  battalions  of  infantry  and  a  detach- 
ment of  cavalry  were  sent  from  Port  Arthur  and  Dalny  to  menace 
the  northern  frontier  of  Korea.  On  the  28th  of  January  Admiral 
Alexeieff  gave  to  the  Russian  forces  then  stationed  in  the  vicinity 
of  the  Yalu  River  orders  to  prepare  for  war.  Troops  were  advanced 
in  large  numbers  at  the  same  time  from  Liao-Yang  towards  the  Yalu. 
And  on  the  1st  of  February  the  military  commandant  at  Vladivostock 
formally  requested  the  Japanese  Commercial  Agent  at  that  port,  by 
order  of  the  Russian  Government,  to  notify  Japan  that  a  state  of  siege 
might  be  proclaimed  at  any  moment.  This  was  five  days,  be  it 
observed,  before  Japan  broke  off  diplomatic  relations. 

Sir  John  Macdonell  says  : 

It  [the  first  torpedoing  the  Russian  vessels]  was  an  attack  of  surprise.  Was 
it  a  treacherous  and  disloyal  act  ?  The  question  must  be  put  with  the  know- 
ledge that  a  nation  which  is  patient  may  be  duped  ;  that  the  first  blow  counts 
much ;  and  that  under  cover  of  continuing  negotiations  a  country  unprepared 
might  deprive  another  better  equipped  of  its  advantages. 


180  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

All  that  I  have  said  above  would  be  sufficient  to  solve  these  points 
of  the  question.  The  attack  on  Port  Arthur  was  not  an  attack  of 
surprise  in  the  sense  of  international  law.  It  can  be  at  the  most 
spoken  of  as  an  attack  of  tactical  surprise,  though  it  was  not  also 
the  case.  The  party  who  was  defeated  can  complain  of  it  no  more 
than  he  can  complain  of  the  defeat  of  the  Yalu  or  Kinchow.  The 
Russian  plan  was  to  deprive  Japan  of  her  chance,  and  either  to  bluff 
her  off  to  the  end  or  to  fight  at  the  hour  of  their  own  choice.  Japan 
was  patient  enough  ;  if  she  were  patient  longer  she  would  have  been 
completely  duped.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  there  was  some  report  that 
the  plan  of  the  Russians  was  to  make  a  sudden  raid  on  Japan  on  about 
the  20th  of  February,  and  that  was  not  at  all  improbable.  Some 
Russians  say  that  Russia  never  meant  to  go  to  war,  and  that  the 
very  fact  that  she  was  not  at  all  prepared  to  cope  with  a  little  nation 
like  Japan  is  the  best  proof  of  it.  This  does  not  follow  at  all,  and 
nothing  is  more  foreign  to  the  fact  than  to  imagine  that  Russia  was 
sincerely  anxious  to  maintain  peace.  In  the  eyes  of  the  Russians 
there  was  no  such  Japan  as  they  have,  or  rather  the  world  has,  begun 
to  see  since  the  opening  of  the  war.  They  trusted,  no  doubt,  either 
to  bs  able  to  bluff  through  or  crush  at  a  blow  if  necessary.  Even 
in  the  battle  of  the  Yalu,  nay,  even  in  the  battle  of  Kinchow,  or 
Wafangu,  they  were  unable  to  believe  that  the  Japanese  were  not 
after  all  '  monkeys  with  the  brain  of  birds '  !  Only  a  little  time  ago 
an  eminent  French  statesman  told  me  that  France  understood  Japan 
little ;  Russia  still  less.  It  was  the  sole  cause  of  the  present  un- 
fortunate war.  '  In  that  respect,'  he  continued,  '  England  was 
sharper,  for  she  understood  the  Far  East,  and,  consequently,  the 
changing  circumstances  of  the  world,  before  any  other  Occidental 
nation.' 

There  is,  I  believe,  a  good  deal  in  it. 

SUYEMATSU. 


1904 


OUR  BI-CENTENARY  ON   THE  ROCK 


ON  the  4th  of  August  1704  (New  Style),  the  Eock  of  Gibraltar  was 
captured  by  Great  Britain,  and  it  has  remained  in  her  possession  from 
that  day  to  this.  Among  the  many  possessions  scattered  all  over 
the  globe  that  are  comprised  in  the  British  Empire  to-day,  there  is 
none  that  the  nation  holds  with  greater  tenacity  for  reasons  both  of 
sentiment  and  of  material  interest,  and  none  that  it  would  lose  with 
more  poignant  shame  and  sorrow,  than  the  redoubtable  stronghold 
we  took  from  Spain  at  the  beginning  of  the  reign  of  Queen  Anne. 
Short-lived  indeed  would  be  the  Ministry  who,  in  some  amicable  settle- 
ment of  long-standing  disputes,  proposed  to  hand  over  Gibraltar  to 
its  original  and  (in  a  geographical  sense)  natural  owners  or  to  any 
other  Power  ;  and  the  pride  and  strength  of  England  would  have  to  be 
humbled  to  the  very  dust  in  war  before  the  surrender  of  the  Rock  could 
be  included  in  any  conditions  which  a  British  Government  would  so 
much  as  take  into  consideration  as  the  price  of  peace. 

The  fact  that  throughout  the  eighteenth  century,  when  so  many 
conquests  in  both  hemispheres  changed  hands  backwards  and  for- 
wards in  successive  wars  and  under  successive  treaties,  Gibraltar 
remained  permanently  in  the  keeping  of  England,  might  seem  to 
prove  that  British  sentiment  with  regard  to  it  was  from  the  first  the 
same  as  it  is  to-day.  But  this  is  far  from  having  been  the  case.  For, 
although  at  the  end  of  two  hundred  years  of  our  possession  of  the  for- 
tress, at  a  time  when  the  Imperial  instinct  of  Englishmen  has  become 
more  consciously  developed  and  more  deeply  ingrained  than  ever 
before,  and  at  the  same  time  more  intelligently  appreciative  of  the  true 
meaning  of  sea  power  and  alive  to  the  strategical  requirements  of  its 
maintenance,  the  retention  of  the  key  of  the  Mediterranean  has 
become  an  essential  article  of  our  political  creed,  it  was  a  considerable 
time  before  the  immense  value  of  the  acquisition  was  fully  realised 
by  British  statesmen.  It  seems  strange  enough  to  us  to  remember  that 
King  George  the  First  and  his  Ministers  were  ready  to  give  up  Gibraltar 
merely  to  secure  Spain's  acquiescence  in  the  arrangement  by  which 
the  Quadruple  Alliance  was  anxious  to  make  some  pettifogging  modi- 
fications in  the  shuffle  of  territories  effected  by  the  Treaty  of  Utrecht ; 
but  it  is  still  more  extraordinary  that  so  clear-sighted,  patriotic,  and 

181 


182  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

high-spirited  an  empire-builder  as  Lord  Chatham  himself  should 
have  made  a  similar  offer  as  an  inducement  to  Spain  to  help  us  to 
recover  Minorca — and  this,  moreover,  at  a  time  when  the  fortress  had 
been  in  our  hands  for  more  than  half  a  century,  and  its  vital  importance 
to  our  growing  maritime  supremacy  had  already  been  abundantly 
proved  in  the  naval  wars  of  the  period.  Happily  the  Spaniards  were 
as  blind  as  ourselves  to  the  supreme  importance  of  the  position  com- 
manding the  road  from  the  Atlantic  to  the  Mediterranean.  Their 
pride  was,  it  is  true,  grievously  wounded  by  its  loss,  and  throughout 
the  greater  part  of  the  eighteenth  century  its  recovery  was  one  of  the 
most  cherished  aims  of  their  policy  and  of  their  warlike  efforts  ;  but 
they  clung  to  the  hope  that  fortune  would  restore  it  to  them  without 
requiring  them  to  pay  even  the  paltry  price  demanded  on  different 
occasions  by  England.  At  all  events,  the  continual  readjustments 
of  territory  elsewhere  in  Europe  made  or  proposed  to  be  made  in  the 
interests  of  the  various  reigning  dynasties  were  deemed  by  Spain 
of  greater  immediate  moment  than  the  ownership  of  Gibraltar. 
England's  short-sighted  proposals  to  part  with  its  possession  were 
therefore  once  and  again  rejected,  with  the  fortunate  result  that  we 
are  this  month  entering  on  our  third  century  of  occupation  of  the 
Rock. 

The  truth  is,  as  readers  of  Mahan  do  not  need  to  be  reminded, 
that  the  importance  of  sea  power  and  the  nature  of  the  foundations 
on  which  it  is  based  were  very  imperfectly  grasped  even  by  England 
in  the  seventeenth  and  the  first  half  of  the  eighteenth  century,  and 
scarcely  at  all  by  any  other  European  Power.  Occasionally,  at 
intervals,  some  statesman  like  Colbert  in  France  or  Alberoni  in  Spain 
had  more  than  an  inkling  of  the  truth  ;  but  no  nation  except  England 
made  deliberate  and  sustained  efforts  with  a  view  to  maritime  develop- 
ment. Even  England  did  so  rather  by  instinct  than  by  insight. 
Instinct  led  her  to  take  measures,  first  for  expanding,  and  secondly 
for  protecting  her  sea-borne  trade ;  and  these  measures  proved  to  be 
just  those  required  for  the  establishment  of  a  world- wide  Empire 
based  on  sea  power.  But  it  was  only  by  slow  degrees  that  she  gained 
insight  into  the  significance  of  this  commercial  policy  in  relation  to 
empire. 

Of  this  blindness  to  the  true  principles  of  maritime  policy,  the 
taking  of  Gibraltar  and  its  history  during  the  following  three-quarters 
of  a  century  afford  a  striking  illustration.  Just  as  the  vast  import- 
ance of  its  acquisition  was  at  the  time  underrated  both  by  England 
and  Spain,  so  its  actual  capture  by  the  former  was  an  afterthought, 
and  (it  may  almost  be  said)  an  accident.  It  became  a  British  posses- 
sion in  the  first  instance  because  at  a  time  when  we  happened  to  be 
at  war  with  one  of  the  rival  claimants  to  the  Spanish  throne  our 
admiral  in  the  Mediterranean  happened  to  have  no  particular  objective 
in  view,  and,  having  failed  in  his  only  enterprise  of  that  year,  was 


1904        OUR   BI-CENTENARY  ON  THE  BOCK          183 

unwilling  to  return  home  with  a  fine  fleet  that  had  done  nothing  for 
the  honour  of  the  flag.  So  he  thought  he  might  as  well  make  an  attack 
on  Gibraltar  as  do  anything  else.  Nevertheless,  his  action  has  to  be 
reckoned  among  the  notable  '  deeds  that  won  the  Empire,'  and  one 
that  on  its  bi-centenary  deserves  to  be  had  in  remembrance.  Com- 
pared with  Wolfe's  memorable  exploit  fifty-five  years  later,  Rooke's 
achievement  in  1704  was  less  heroic  and  illustrious  in  a  military  sense, 
and  produced  results  less  conspicuous  at  the  moment.  But  if  it  did 
not,  like  the  storming  of  Quebec,  accomplish  the  conquest  of  half  a 
continent,  nor  add  an  immense  territory  to  the  dominions  of  the 
Crown,  the  acquisition  of  Gibraltar  was  destined  to  have  a  still  more 
far-reaching  influence  in  building  up  and  rendering  secure  for  the 
future  the  maritime  power,  and  with  it  the  over-sea  empire,  of  Great 
Britain. 

England  became  involved  in  the  war  of  the  Spanish  Succession, 
in  which  this  famous  episode  occurred,  within  two  months  of  the 
accession  of  Queen  Anne.  One  of  the  first  acts  of  the  new  Sovereign 
was  to  appoint  her  consort,  Prince  George  of  Denmark,  to  the  office 
of  Lord  High  Admiral.  At  the  same  time  Sir  George  Rooke  became 
*  Vice-Admiral  of  England,'  and  received  in  addition  the  high-sounding 
title  of  '  Lieutenant  of  the  Admiralty  of  England  and  Lieutenant  of 
the  fleets  and  seas  of  this  Kingdom.'  He  was  also  made  a  member 
of  a  Council  established  to  assist  Prince  George  in  the  execution  of  his 
office.  His  administrative  duties  at  the  Admiralty  did  not,  however, 
prevent  his  taking  command  of  a  fleet  as  soon  as  war  was  declared. 
Sir  George  Rooke  was  at  this  time  an  officer  who  had  seen  a  lot  of 
active  service  in  which  he  had  won  distinction,  though  for  political 
reasons  he  had  not  received  as  much  credit  as  he  deserved.  Thirty 
years  before,  while  still  a  lieutenant,  he  had  made  his  mark  in  the 
wars  against  the  Dutch.  He  it  was  who  as  Commodore  commanded 
the  squadron  that  convoyed  Kirke  to  the  Foyle  in  1689,  and  raised 
the  siege  of  Londonderry.  In  the  following  year,  having  been  pro- 
moted to  flag  rank,  he  took  part  in  the  battle  of  Beachy  Head,  and  at 
La  Hogue  he  performed  a  brilliant  exploit  in  following  the  French 
inshore  and  burning  their  men-of-war  and  transports — a  service  for 
which  he  was  rewarded  by  the  honour  of  knighthood  from  William  the 
Third  when  the  King  shortly  afterwards  dined  on  board  his  flagship 
at  Portsmouth.  Since  that  date  Rooke  had  been  in  command  of  fleets 
in  the  Mediterranean  and  the  Channel,  besides  holding  the  appoint- 
ment of  a  Lord  of  the  Admiralty ;  and  so  recently  as  the  year  1700  in 
conjunction  with  a  Swedish  squadron  had  forced  the  Danes  to  come 
to  terms  with  Charles  the  Twelfth. 

There  was  therefore  no  British  naval  officer  with  a  higher  reputa- 
tion than  Sir  George  Rooke  when  the  disputed  succession  to  the 
Spanish  crown  led  to  a  declaration  of  war  by  England  against  France 
and  Spain  on  the  14th  of  May  (N.S.)  1702.  The  events  of  the  first 


184  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

two  years  of  the  war  do  not  concern  us  here,  though  it  may  be  men- 
tioned that  Rooke  received  the  thanks  of  the  House  of  Commons — 
he  was  himself  member  for  Portsmouth — for  his  success  in  destroying 
the  Spanish  treasure-ships  in  the  harbour  of  Vigo.  In  the  beginning 
of  1704  he  was  ordered  to  escort  to  Lisbon  the  Archduke  Charles,  who 
had  proclaimed  himself  King  of  Spain  and  had  resolved  to  proceed  in 
person  to  the  Peninsula  to  assert  his  rights.  A  powerful  fleet  was 
commissioned  for  this  service,  but  it  was  found  impossible  to  fit  out 
all  the  ships  by  the  appointed  date,  so  Sir  Cloudesley  Shovel  was  placed 
in  command  of  a  second  squadron  with  orders  to  follow  the  Com- 
mander-in- Chief  as  quickly  as  possible.  After  Rooke  sailed  informa- 
tion reached  the  Admiralty  that  a  French  fleet  was  preparing  to  sail 
from  Brest.  Shovel  thereupon  received  fresh  orders  to  proceed  to 
Brest  and  blockade  it.  He  was  too  late,  however,  to  do  this,  and 
was  obliged  to  follow  in  the  wake  of  the  French  in  the  hope  of  eluding 
them  and  effecting  a  junction  with  Rooke  somewhere  near  the  Straits 
of  Gibraltar.  Rooke,  meantime,  had  reached  Lisbon  without  falling 
in  with  an  enemy,  and  landed  the  Archduke  '  after  two  days  had  been 
spent  in  adjusting  the  ceremonial '  for  conducting  'His  Catholic  Majesty 
Charles  the  Third'  from  the  flagship  to  the  shore.  The  admiral 
then  spent  a  month  cruising  off  the  Spanish  and  Portuguese  coasts  in 
search  of  a  Spanish  fleet  returning  from  the  West  Indies.  But  early 
in  May  orders  reached  him  from  home  to  go  on  to  the  Mediterranean 
to  relieve  Nice  and  Villafranca,  which  were  in  danger  of  falling  into 
the  hands  of  the  French.  This  move  was  not  at  all  to  the  liking  of 
Charles  the  Third,  who  was  chiefly  intent  on  securing  his  own  position 
in  Spain,  and  accordingly  '  the  admiral  was  extremely,  pressed  by  his 
Catholic  Majesty  to  undertake  somewhat  in  his  favour.'  Rooke's 
orders  were  explicit,  and  he  knew  he  might  incur  a  heavy  respon- 
sibility by  delaying  their  execution.  But  he  was  hampered  by  the 
additional  absurd  instructions  to  undertake  nothing  without  the  con- 
sent of  the  Kings  of  Spain  and  Portugal,  who  could  seldom  agree  on 
anything  whatever.  Anyhow,  he  consented  to  make  an  attempt  on 
Barcelona,  where  it  was  represented  to  him  that  the  inhabitants  were 
ready  to  declare  for  the  Austrian  candidate  as  soon  as  he  appeared 
before  the  city.  This  soon  proved  to  be  a  complete  delusion,  and  the 
attempt  to  reduce  the  place  was  a  fiasco. 

Ten  days  after  this  abortive  undertaking  Rooke  learnt  the  where- 
abouts of  the  French  fleet  from  Brest,  and,  although  still  without  Sir 
Cloudesley  Shovel's  reinforcements,  he  gave  chase  to  the  French  and 
succeeded  in  driving  them  into  Toulon.  He  next  passed  the  Straits 
into  the  Atlantic  once  more,  and  on  the  26th  of  June  was  joined  at 
last  by  Shovel's  squadron  off  Lagos.  The  combined  fleet  then  con- 
tinued aimlessly  cruising  about  while  awaiting  orders  from  home. 
But,  as  the  old  eighteenth- century  naval  chronicler  puts  it,  '  Sir  George 
Rooke  being  very  sensible  of  the  reflections  that  would  fall  upon  him, 


1904         OUR   BI-CENTENAEY   ON   THE   EOCK          185 

if,  having  so  considerable  a  fleet  under  his  command,  he  spent  the 
summer  in  doing  nothing  of  importance,'  he  called  a  council  of  war  in 
the  Tetuan  roadstead  on  the  27th  of  July.  Several  schemes  for 
doing  '  something  of  importance '  were  discussed  and  found  im- 
practicable ;  the  admiral  '  declared  that  he  thought  it  requisite  that 
they  should  resolve  upon  some  service  or  other,  and  after  a  long 
debate  it  was  carried  to  make  a  sudden  and  vigorous  attempt  upon 
Gibraltar.'  Three  reasons  were  given  for  this  decision.  '  First, 
because  in  the  condition  the  place  then  was,  there  was  some  pro- 
bability of  taking  it ;  which  in  case  it  had  been  properly  provided, 
and  there  had  been  in  it  a  numerous  garrison,  would  have  been  im- 
possible. Secondly,  because  the  possession  of  that  place  was  of 
infinite  importance  during  the  present  war.  Thirdly,  because  the 
taking  of  this  place  would  give  a  lustre  to  the  Queen's  arms,  and 
possibly  dispose  the  Spaniards  to  favour  the  cause  of  King  Charles.' 

On  the  1st  of  August  the  fleet,  which  included  a  few  Dutch  ships, 
appeared  off  Gibraltar.  The  tactics  to  be  employed  for  reducing  the 
stronghold  were  dictated  by  the  configuration  of  the  promontory. 
Nor  was  it  the  first  time  that  such  a  plan  for  its  capture  had  been 
devised  by  an  English  admiral.  Half  a  century  earlier,  in  Cromwell's 
time,  Admiral  Montague,  when  serving  under  Blake  in  the  Mediter- 
ranean, had  sent  a  memorandum  to  Secretary  Thurloe  containing  a 
proposal  for  an  attack  on  Gibraltar  '  as  a  place  that  would  be  of  great 
utility  in  case  it  could  be  reduced.'  The  only  way  of  taking  it,  he 
added,  was  '  to  land  a  body  of  forces  on  the  isthmus,  and  thereby 
cut  off  communication  of  the  town  with  the  main ;  and  in  this  situa- 
tion to  make  a  brisk  attempt  upon  the  place.'  Curiously  enough 
this  suggestion' came  to  nothing  in  1656,  because  soldiers  were  not  to 
be  had  for  the  purpose  and  the  British  sailors  of  that  day  could  not 
be  trusted,  since  '  the  hasty  disposition  of  the  seamen  rendered  them 
unfit  to  perform  any  effectual  service  on  shore.'  But  in  1704  things 
had  changed  in  this  respect,  and  Rooke  put  in  execution  with  complete 
success  Montague's  plan,  which  it  will  have  been  noticed  was  similar 
in  principle  to  that  of  the  Japanese  at  Port  Arthur  two  hundred  years 
afterwards.  Accordingly  the  same  day  that  the  fleet  arrived  a  force  of 
1,800  English  and  Dutch  marines  under  the  Prince  of  Hesse  were  put 
ashore  '  on  the  neck  of  land  to  the  northward  of  the  town.'  How 
strange,  it  may  be  observed  in  passing,  it  must  have  seemed  to  English 
and  Dutch  sailors  of  that  day  to  find  themselves  actually  fighting 
together  as  allies  of  '  his  Catholic  Majesty '  of  Spain,  in  whose  name 
the  Governor  of  the  fortress  was  called  upon  to  surrender  it  to  the 
Prince  of  Hesse.  This  demand  being  of  course  refused,  Sir  George 
Rooke  ordered  his  captains  to  take  up  positions  for  bombarding  the 
place  next  day.  In  the  morning  of  the  2nd  of  August  the  wind  was 
unfavourable  for  the  necessary  evolutions  of  the  ships,  so  it  was 
late  in  the  afternoon  before  they  got  into  their  appointed  places. 


186  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  Aug. 

Meantime,  '  to  amuse  the  enemy,'  as  Rooke  quaintly  phrased  it  in  his 
despatch,  '  Captain  Whitaker  was  sent  in  with  some  boats  who  burnt 
a  French  privateer  of  twelve  guns  at  the  mole.'  At  daybreak  on  the 
3rd  the  bombardment  began.  So  furious  was  the  cannonade  that 
we  are  told  more  than  15,000  rounds  were  fired  in  five  or  six  hours ; 
'  insomuch  that  the  enemy  were  soon  beat  from  their  guns,  especially 
at  the  South  Molehead.'  At  this  juncture  Rooke  signalled  to  Captain 
Whitaker — presumably  for  the  better  '  amusement '  of  the  enemy — 
to  take  in  all  the  boats  and  drive  the  defenders  from  their  fortified 
position  on  the  mole.  This  order  was  so  promptly  obeyed  by  two 
captains,  Jumper  and  Hicks,  who  were  already  close  inshore  with 
their  pinnaces,  that  before  the  rest  of  the  boats  could  take  part  the 
fortifications  were  in  their  possession,  though  with  the  loss  of  two 
lieutenants  and  100  men  killed  and  wounded  by  the  springing  of  a 
mine  by  the  Spaniards.  The  survivors  of  the  storming  party  held 
their  ground,  however,  till  supported  by  Whitaker,  whose  blue- 
jackets were  not  long  in  forcing  their  way  into  a  redoubt  between 
the  mole  and  the  town,  the  possession  of  which  by  the  English  appears 
to  have  rendered  the  whole  fortress  untenable ;  for  on  receiving  '  a 
peremptory  summons  '  now  sent  him  by  the  Prince  of  Hesse  at  Rooke's 
instance,  the  Governor  made  no  further  attempt  at  defence.  The 
following  morning,  the  4th  of  August  1704,  the  capitulation  was 
signed,  and  the  troops  under  the  Prince  of  Hesse  marched  in  and 
occupied  the  fortress  the  same  day. 

It  does  not  appear  that  the  assailants  suffered  any  very  heavy 
loss ;  in  fact,  there  is  no  doubt  that  the  defence  of  the  Spanish  garrison 
was  a  tame  affair.  The  French,  indeed,  anxious  to  minimise  the 
importance  of  Rooke's  success,  asserted  that  the  Spaniards  had 
neither  garrison  nor  guns  on  the  Rock.  This,  however,  was  clearly 
not  the  fact ;  for  Rooke,  in  his  report  to  the  Admiralty,  expressly 
said  *  the  town  is  extremely  strong  and  had  100  guns  mounted,  all 
facing  the  sea  and  the  two  narrow  passes  to  the  land,  and  was  well 
supplied  with  ammunition.'  This  seems  hardly  consistent  perhaps 
with  the  alleged  state  of  affairs  that  moved  the  Council  of  War  at 
Tetuan  to  make  the  attack — namely,  that  the  weak  and  unprovided 
condition  of  the  garrison  offered  a  prospect  of  success  which  would 
otherwise  have  been  out  of  the  question  ;  and  it  is  possible  that  Rooke 
was  as  willing  to  magnify  his  work  after  the  event  as  his  enemies 
were  to  discount  it.  On  the  other  hand  it  is  possible  that  the  natural 
strength  of  the  place  and  the  state  of  its  equipment  had  not  been 
realised  until  it  was  seen  from  inside.  This  explanation  of  the 
apparent  inconsistency  is  supported  by  the  opinion  of  the  military 
officers,  who  after  inspecting  the  fortifications  declared  that  '  fifty 
men  might  have  defended  those  works  against  thousands,'  and  that 
the  place  had  only  fallen  because  .'  there  never  was  such  an  attack  as 
the  seamen  made.' 


1904        OUR  BICENTENARY  ON  THE  BOCK          187 

The  Union  Jack  was  hoisted  by  Rooke's  sailors  as  soon  as  they  had 
established  themselves  on  the  mole  ;  but  the  capitulation  was  accepted 
in  the  name  of  Charles  the  Third,  to  whom  the  soldiers  "and  inhabitants, 
in  accordance  with  one  of  its  articles,  had  to  take  an  oath  of  allegiance. 
The  fact  that  at  the  close  of  the  war,  nine  years  later,  England  insisted 
on  retaining  the  fortress  in  her  own  hands  and  obtaining  a  formal 
cession  of  it  from  Spain  might  be  taken  as  proof  that  the  experience 
of  the  war  had  taught  its  true  value,  were  it  not  for  the  subsequent 
proposals  already  mentioned  for  giving  it  back  in  return  for  com- 
paratively worthless  concessions  elsewhere.  Be  that  as  it  may,  for 
the  time  being  at  all  events  the  Prince  of  Hesse  was  left  in  command 
of  the  garrison  to  hold  the  place  for  his  Catholic  Majesty,  while  the 
English  fleet  sailed  away  quite  content  with  the  '  something  of  im- 
portance '  accomplished  for  the  purpose  of  '  giving  a  lustre  to  the 
Queen's  arms.' 

The  taking  of  Gibraltar  was  immediately  followed  by  the  battle 
of  Malaga,  which,  according  to  Dr.  John  Campbell,  Rooke's  biographer, 
finally  '  decided  the  empire  of  the  sea,'  an  opinion  practically  endorsed 
by  the  French  historian,  Martin.  Nevertheless,  when  Sir  George 
Rooke  shortly  afterwards  returned  home,  attempts  were  made,  in  a 
spirit  with  which  we  have  been  only  too  familiar  in  more  recent  times, 
to  belittle  his  services  for  party  reasons.  The  reign  of  the  Revolu- 
tionary Whigs  was  not  yet  at  an  end.  Rooke  had  been  elected  member 
for  Portsmouth  in  1698,  and  in  Parliament  had  committed  the  un- 
pardonable offence  of  Noting  mostly  with  those  that  were  called 
Tories.'  For  this  offence  William  the  Third  had  been  pressed  to 
remove  him  from  his  seat  at  the  Admiralty  Board,  but  honourably 
refused  to  do  so.  In  1704  he  was  still  in  bad  odour  with  the 
ruling  party,  who  accordingly  resented  the  very  mention  of 
Gibraltar  or  Malaga  in  the  same  breath  with  the  triumph  of  the 
great  Whig  hero  at  Blenheim,  which  occurred  in  the  same  year. 
The  Commons  insisted  all  the  same  on  coupling  the  victories  by 
land  and  sea  in  an  address  of  congratulation  to  the  Crown,  though 
the  expressions  used  gave  great  offence  '  to  many  of  the  warmest 
friends  of  the  Ministry.'  In  the  House  of  Lords,  where  Whig  influence 
remained  more  powerful  than  in  the  Lower  House,  Rooke's  services 
were  passed  over  altogether  in  silence  ;  and  the  rancour  of  party  spirit 
was  such  that  in  the  same  year  in  which  he  placed  in  the  hands  of  his 
countrymen  the  key  of  the  Mediterranean  and  the  empire  of  the 
sea,  he  found  himself  obliged  to  retire  into  private  life.  He  never 
was  employed  again.  And  just  as,  from  motives  of  party,  the  Whig 
politicians  thus  treated  him  with  injustice  and  neglect,  so  for  the 
same  reason  the  Whig  historian  perpetuated  the  injustice  to  his 
memory.  Bishop  Burnet  persistently  belittled  the  exploits,  falsified 
the  facts,  and  misrepresented  the  motives  of  Sir  George  Rooke's 
career.  Rooke  did  not,  it  need  hardly  be  said,  possess  the  genius  of 


188  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

a  Marlborough,  and  none  of  his  deeds  can  justly  be  compared  for  a 
moment  from  a  military  standpoint  with  Blenheim  or  Ramillies  ;  but 
after  making  all  allowance  for  the  historical  importance  of  Marl- 
borough's  illustrious  victories  in  putting  a  check  to  the  menacing 
power  of  France,  it  may  be  questioned  whether  any  of  them  con- 
ferred so  lasting  a  benefit  on  the  British  Empire  as  the  happy-go- 
lucky  enterprise  of  his  naval  contemporary  whose  very  name  is  by 
many  scarcely  remembered  to-day,  though  the  fruit  of  his  action  is 
one  of  our  most  cherished  possessions  after  two  hundred  years,  while 
the  ambition  and  the  schemes  of  Louis  the  Fourteenth  have  long  since 
passed  into  limbo.  More  fit  to  be  remembered  than  the  churlish  jealousy 
of  bygone  Whigs,  whether  politician  or  historian,  is  the  judgment  of  the 
weightiest  modern  authority  on  the  relation  between  sea  power  and 
empire ;  and  at  this  time  of  the  bi-centenary  of  our  occupation  of  the 
Rock  we  may  well  bear  his  words  in  mind.  '  The  English  possession 
of  Gibraltar,'  writes  Captain  Mahan,  '  dates  from  the  4th  of  August 
1704,  and  the  deed  rightly  keeps  alive  the  name  of  Rooke,  to  whose 
judgment  and  fearlessness  of  responsibility  England  owes  the  key  of 
the  Mediterranean.'  l 

RONALD  McNEiLL. 

1  The  Influence  of  Sea  Power  upon  History,  p.  210. 


1904 


BRITISH  SHIPPING  AND  FISCAL   REFORM 


No  industry  is  more  vitally  important  than  shipping  to  the  welfare 
of  Great  Britain,  and  none  more  susceptible  to  the  attack  of  foreign 
competition.  Its  decadence  would  bring  widespread  and  serious 
distress  to  the  working  people  of  our  country  ;  in  fact  it  is  a  truism 
that  the  decline  of  the  supremacy  of  the  mercantile  marine  must 
mean  the  decline  of  Great  Britain  as  an  empire. 

The  prevailing  desire  in  the  country  for  '  cheapness ' — i.e.  the  wish 
to  pay  down  at  the  moment  as  little  cash  as  possible  without  thinking 
where  such  economy  may  lead — seems  to  constitute  a  national  danger. 
For  instance,  some  British  shipbuilders  have  imported  German 
forgings  and  castings  at  prices  30  per  cent,  below  their  cost  of  manu- 
facture in  this  country ;  and  by  so  doing  they  have  increased  the 
tendency  to  sacrifice  the  primary  processes  of  manufacture,  which 
form  the  great  field  of  employment  of  our  people. 

There  can  be  no  doubt  that  once  our  employers  of  labour  have 
been  induced  to  exchange  the  primary  processes  of  manufacture  for 
that  of  fitting  together  ready-made  parts,  we  shall  become  increasingly 
dependent  upon  the  foreigner  not  merely  for  the  supply,  but  also  for 
the  price  of  our  shipbuilding  materials. 

To-day  the  producing  capacity  of  German  iron  and  steel  firms  is 
nine  times  as  great  as  it  was  twenty- two  years  ago.  There  are  twenty- 
one  steel-works  fitted  out  with  heavy  bar-rolling  appliances,  and  in 
the  matter  of  forgings  and  castings  the  industry  is  ahead  of  the  ship- 
building trade,  thus  placing  it  in  a  favourable  position  to  cater  for 
work  abroad. 

Foreign  merchants  do  not  sell  their  goods  in  this  country  below 
the  cost  of  production  in  Britain,  and  often  below  the  cost  of  pro- 
duction to  themselves,  without  having  some  definite  purpose  in  view. 
Their  policy  is  not  one  of  charity,  but  is  one  well  calculated  to  capture 
our  markets.  So  long  as  our  manufacturers  turn  out  iron  and  steel 
goods  similar  to  those  which  foreigners  export,  it  will  be  necessary 
for  the  latter,  as  a  matter  of  competition,  to  sell  lower  than  the  British 

VOL.  LVI— No.  330  189  0 


190  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  Aug. 

prices.  This  they  are  able  to  do  by  means  of  home  bounties  and 
protective  tariffs,  which  leave  a  sufficiently  large  profit  on  their  home 
sales  to  recoup  any  loss  on  their  exports  and  give  a  net  gain  on  their 
total  output. 

It  is  often  asserted  that  to  stop  by  means  of  a  tariff  the  unlimited 
importation  of  these  foreign  manufactures  must  certainly  lead  to 
handicapping  British  shipbuilders  in  their  competition  for  orders. 
As  an  example  of  such  argument  the  following  is  a  paragraph  taken 
from  the  Glasgow  Herald  Supplement  on  the  year's  (1903)  shipbuilding 
and  engineering. 

Looking  at  the  position  in  this  light,  there  can  only  be  one  answer  to  the 
question.  Building  material  cannot  be  too  cheap,  and  if  foreign  makers  can 
supply  it  at  less  cost  than  our  own,  it  is  not  only  to  builders'  interests  but 
for  the  national  benefit  that  the  foreign  material  be  used.  No  doubt  it  is 
'  hard  lines '  for  home  makers,  but  they  are  not  the  men  to  sit  down  under 
it.  New  circumstances  and  new  forces  will  stimulate  new  methods  and 
economies. 

Surely  there  never  was  a  more  flagrant  example  of  how  '  spurious 
free  trade '  argument  can  be  made  to  subserve  private  ends,  of  how 
it  can  be  utilised  to  favour  one  class,  or  one  industry,  at  the  expense 
of  another,  of  how  it  can  by  selfish  application  sap  away  the  prosperity 
of  a  nation  ;  for  it  certainly  would  not  be  to  the  national  benefit  to 
sacrifice  the  prime  industries  of  the  land. 

Another  way  in  which  British  shipping  stands  to  lose  heavily 
is  by  the  increasing  amount  of  partly  finished  stuff  it  brings  to  this 
country  in  place  of  raw  material. 

Kaw  material  as  a  rule  is  of  much  greater  bulk  and  weight  than 
the  semi-masiufactured  article,  and  therefore  needs  a  greater  amount 
of  transport.  An  eminent  authority  recently  gave  figures  in  the  Western 
Mail  showing  how  the  importation  into  Newport  (Wales)  of  200,000 
tons  of  German  steel,  instead  of  the  material  to  manufacture  it  from, 
had  caused  a  loss  to  shipowners  of  not  less  than  39,OOOZ.  in  freights. 
This  can  be  readily  believed  when  it  is  said  that  it  requires  about 
30,000  tons  of  hematite  ore  to  manufacture  10,000  tons  of  steel,  not 
to  mention  the  need  of  some  25,000  tons  of  coal  and  coke  for  that 
manufacture. 

Thus  in  the  interest  of  prosperous  employment  for  the  people  it 
is  essential  that  British  shipping  should  preserve  its  ascendency ;  and 
in  no  way  allow  foreign  nations  to  usurp  its  carrying  power,  ship- 
building, or  allied  industries. 

In  order  to  see  how  shipping  legislation  may  be  rendered  less 
oppressive  to  shipowners  it  is  essential  to  consider  how  they  are  unduly 
handicapped  by  the  laws  of  to-day. 

A  prime  grievance  is  the  load-line  restriction  to  which  British 
ships,  when  laden,  are  bound  to  conform,  while  foreign  vessels  are 


1904  BEITISH  SHIPPING  AND  FISCAL  EEFOEM   191 

not  made  to  comply  with  the  Act,  with  the  consequence  that  foreign 
vessels  of  the  same  carrying  capacity  as  British  ones  are  enabled  to 
carry  larger  cargoes  and  earn  greater  profits. 

As  an  illustration  we  have  the  case  given  in  the  report  of  the  Select 
Committee  on  Shipping  Subsidies  (year  1901)  of  a  ship  which,  while 
trading  under  the  British  flag,  was  limited  to  a  carrying  capacity  of 
1825  tons  ;  but  when  sold  to  the  Germans  actually  traded  into  Liver- 
pool with  the  cargo  of  2100  tons,  or  with  an  excess  of  15  per  cent. 
over  her  former  carrying  capacity. 

Another  difference  is  that  between  the  British  and  foreign  regis- 
tered tonnage  of  a  vessel,  which  in  the  matter  of  paying  dues  seriously 
mulcts  the  shipowners  of  this  country.  Thus  two  vessels  may  have 
exactly  the  same  cargo-carrying  capacity  ;  but  the  British  ship  would 
by  our  measurement  be  registered  at  2000  tons,  while  the  foreign 
vessel  is  registered  at  1800  tons  ;  thus  causing  the  British  vessel  to 
pay  dues  on  200  tons  more  than  the  foreigner,  although  in  reality  both 
ships  are  of  the  same  size. 

Mr.  Beasley,  general  manager  of  the  Taff  Railway  Company, 
South  Wales,  has  given  some  valuable  figures  in  the  Times,  which 
show  that  out  of  100  vessels  previously  British-owned,  but  now  belong- 
ing to  seven  foreign  nations,  the  difference  between  the  former  and 
latter  registration  varies  between  12  and  10  per  cent.  Thus,  on  the 
aggregate  tonnage  of  the  100  vessels,  amounting  to  158,000  tons,  the 
foreign  registration  shows  17,617  tons  less — upon  which  to  levy  dues 
— than  when  the  ships  were  on  the  British  register. 

The  President  of  the  Board  of  Trade  has  expressed  recently  his 
intention  of  dealing  with  such  unfairness  ;  but  it  is  not  so  much  fresh 
legislation  that  is  wanted  as  official  activity. 

Section  84  of  the  Merchant  Shipping  Act  already  provides  that 
'  where  the  tonnage  of  any  foreign  ships  materially  differs  from  that 
which  would  be  the  tonnage  under  the  British  flag  she  may  be  re- 
measured  under  the  terms  of  the  Act.' 

But  unless  a  case  is  glaringly  apparent  steps  of  that  kind  are 
seldom  if  ever  taken.  This  is  the  more  to  be  regretted,  for  when  ship- 
ping competition  is  so  fierce,  and  the  margin  between  profit  and  loss 
so  small,  it  seems  imperative  to  adopt  some  policy  which  will  place 
all  foreign  shipping  when  trading  in  British  waters  on  at  least  the 
same  footing  as  that  of  our  own  country. 

When  advocating  '  a  fair  field  and  no  favour '  the  exclusion  of 
British  vessels  from  certain  foreign  coastal  trades  must  be  taken  into 
account.  At  present  every  nation  is  allowed  absolute  free  trade  on 
the  coasts  of  the  United  Kingdom,  and  also  on  those  of  the  Crown 
colonies  and  dependencies,  as  well  as  between  the  colonies  and  the 
mother  country.  Most  of  the  self-governing  colonies  also  allow  free 
trade  on  their  coasts  ;  but  Canada  stipulates  that  such  privilege  is 
granted  solely  on  condition  of  reciprocity, 

o  2 


192  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  Aug. 

On  the  other  hand,  British  shipping  is  excluded  from  the  home 
coasting  trade  of  the  following  countries  :  United  States  of  America 
(on  both  coasts,  Atlantic  and  Pacific  ;  and  even  on  voyages  extending 
from  coast  to  coast),  Russia  (on  all  coasts,  and  even  on  voyages  extend- 
ing from  ports  in  the  Baltic  to  ports,  like  Vladivostock,  in  the  East), 
France,  Spain,  Portugal.  It  is  also  excluded  from  trading  between 
the  following  countries  and  their  possessions :  France  and  her 
Algerian  trade  (free  trade  exists  between  France,  Guadaloupe,  Mada- 
gascar, and  other  island  colonies,  but  other  shipping  is  specially 
taxed) ;  United  States  of  America  (trade  to  Philippine  ports  open 
to  British  and  Spanish  vessels  till  1909.  But  on  trade  between 
Philippine  ports  and  U.S.A.  special  duties  are  levied  on  goods 
when  carried  in  foreign  or  British  ships);  Spain  (handicapped 
by  levying  surtaxes  on  produce  brought  home  in  foreign  hulls) ; 
Portugal  (excepting  those  possessions  exempted  by  special  decrees) ; 
Russia. 

When  we  consider  the  enormous  power  we  possess  in  our  shipping 
for  negotiation,  it  seems  strange  that  in  1854  we  should  have  abolished 
the  old  navigation  laws,  and  removed  all  power  of  taxing  foreign 
shipping  without  retaining  a  clause  in  favour  of  reciprocity.  In  the 
days  of  old  the  reservation  of  coastal  trade  to  national  keels  was  well 
recognised  as  one  of  the  most  powerful  and  promising  arguments  for 
use  in  demanding  an  open  market.  Alexander  Hamilton,  the  great 
American  statesman,  laid  it  down  as  an  essential  to  be  included  in 
the  articles  of  the  United  States  Constitution. 

In  advocating  the  acceptance  of  such  a  policy  he  wrote  in  his 
paper,  the  Federalist,  November  1787,  thus  : 

Suppose  for  instance  we  had  a  Government  in  America  capable  of  exclud- 
ing Great  Britain  (with  whom  we  have  at  present  no  treaty  of  commerce)  from 
all  our  ports,  what  would  be  the  probable  operation  of  this  step  upon  her 
politics?  Would  it  not  enable  us  to  negotiate,  with  the  fairest  prospect  of 
success,  for  commercial  privileges  of  the  most  valuable  and  extensive  kind  in 
the  dominions  of  that  Kingdom  ?  .  .  .  Such  a  point  gained  from  the  British 
Government,  and  which  could  not  be  expected  without  an  equivalent  in  exemp- 
tions and  immunities  in  our  markets,  would  be  likely  to  have  a  correspondent 
effect  on  the  conduct  of  other  nations,  who  would  not  be  inclined  to  see  them- 
selves altogether  supplanted  in  our  trade. 

If  we  simply  exchange  the  names  of  the  countries  mentioned  above, 
and  speak  of  Britain  where  Hamilton  says  America,  and  vice  versa, 
no  more  lucid  or  cogent  appeal  in  favour  of  reserving  British  coastal 
trade  to  British  shipping  excepting  on  conditions  of  reciprocity  could 
be  put  forward. 

In  the  famous  Board  of  Trade  Blue-book,  C.  D.  1761,  '  British  and 
Foreign  Trade,  and  Industrial  Conditions,'  figures  are  given  showing 
the  classification  of  the  foreign  tonnage  participating  in  the  trade 
between  the  United  Kingdom  and  British  colonies  and  possessions, 


1904  BEITISH  SHIPPING  AND  FISCAL  BEFOEM    193 

and  showing  to  what  extent  that  trade  is  shared  by  countries  giving 
free  trading  to  British  ships  on  their  coasts  or  refusing  it. 

In  1902  the  total  trade  between  the  United  Kingdom  colonies 
and  possessions  amounted  to  13,250,000  tons l  (11,750,000  British, 
1,500,000  foreign).  Of  the  foreign  tonnage  94  per  cent,  was  that  of 
countries  granting  open  coastal  trade  to  British  ships ;  G  per  cent, 
was  that  of  countries  refusing  such  privilege. 

Hence  it  follows  that  were  '  reciprocity '  made  a  test  of  admission 
to  British,  colonial,  and  coasting  trade,  5  or  6  per  cent,  of  the  foreign 
shipping  now  engaged  in  that  trade  would  be  excluded  until  such  time 
as  arrangements  were  made  to  the  mutual  benefit. 

The  power  of  laying  embargo  is  pregnant  with  great  possibilities. 

A  considerable  proportion  of  foreign  tonnage  is  enabled  to  trade 
solely  through  the  receipt  of  State-aid.  The  following  table  shows 
approximately  the  amount  of  subsidy  granted  by  the  various  foreign 
Governments  to  their  national  shipping  ; 

£ 

United  States 357,723 

France  (mails  and  bounties)  .     -    .        .        .        .  1,787,270 

Germany  (mail  subsidies) 400,000 

Italy  (mails  and  bounties) 500,000 

Eussia  (mails  and  bounties) 374,700 

Austria-Hungary  (mails  and  bounties)   .        .        .  400,000 

Portugal  (mail  subsidies) 13,000 

Netherlands         „                    75,000 

Norway               „                    30,000 

Sweden                „                    17,000 

Denmark             „                    20,000 

Japan  (mail  and  bounties) 700,000 

There  can  be  no  doubt  as  to  what  is  the  object  aimed  at  by  the 
Governments  granting  these  bounties.  It  is  first  to  develop  their  national 
marines  both  as  a  source  of  industry  and  as  a  support  to  their  naval 
power.  In  the  second  place,  to  undercut  British  shipping,  and  so 
secure  a  portion  of  this  country's  trade.  If  such  were  not  the  inten- 
tion, it  would  be  a  matter  of  surprise  that  so  many  bounty-fed  vessels 
are  to  be  seen  in  British  ports,  such  as  Bombay,  Calcutta,  Singapore, 
Hongkong,  Durban,  Melbourne,  and  Sydney.  These  subsidies  cover 
either  all  or  some  of  the  following  expenses  :  interest  on  capital 
borrowed  by  the  shipping  companies,  depreciation,  insurance  of  the 
vessels,  crews'  wages  and  stores,  and  in  consequence  enable  foreign 
shipowners  to  carry  cargoes  at  a  rate  of  freight  which  would  ruin 
unsubsidised  British  shipping. 

The  evidence  given  by  Sir  Henry  Beyne,  K.C.M.G.,  before  the 
Parliamentary  Select  Committee  on  steamships  subsidies  in  1901, 
throws  valuable  light  on  this  matter.  He  quoted  instances  in  which 
he  knew  of  French  sailing  ships  of  about  3200  tons  earning  bounties 

1  These  figures  do  not  refer  to  inter  -trading  between  the  colonies  and  possessions. 


194 


THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY 


Aug. 


of  4000L  per  annum  ;  and  certain  vessels  in  particular  earning  bounties 
as  follows  : 

Per  cent. 

.  34 
.  37 


Charles  Gounod  on  value  of  vessel  . 
General  Neumayer     „  ,, 


Per  cent. 

.  17     on  value  of  shares 
.  18* 


Heine  Blanche 


22 


44 


The  effect  of  these  vessels  seeking  cargoes  in  a  port  where  British 
ships  are  lying  cannot  be  otherwise  than  disadvantageous  to  the 
latter,  and  though  working  at  a  loss,  they  are  (to  use  an  Irishism) 
able  to  pay  dividends.  To  illustrate  how  the  reservation  of  the 
imperial  coastal  trade  to  British  vessels,  excepting  on  conditions  of 
reciprocity,  could  be  made  a  powerful  means  of  securing  free  and  fair 
competition,  take  the  case  of  French  ships  trading  along  the  British 
East  and  West  African  coasts. 

The  subsidies  paid  in  these  trades  by  France  are  : 

£ 

East  Africa  and  Indian  Ocean 76,985 

And  West  Coast  of  Africa 20,036 

Were  these  ships  interdicted  from  trading  along  British  African  coasts 
until  such  time  as  France  gave  reciprocal  permission  to  British  ship- 
owners to  trade  in  her  Franco-Algerian  trade,  there  can  be  little 
doubt  that  the  French  ships  would  remain  on  that  portion  of  the 
coast  left  open  to  them  either  at  great  loss,  or  with  a  great  increase  in 
their  subsidies  ;  either  of  which  conditions  could  not  but  react  adversely 
upon  the  national  finance. 

If  to  some  people  the  policy  of  '  real  free  trade '  is  distasteful, 
there  remains  an  alternative  measure,  and  that  is  to  levy  a  special 
duty  on  all  subsidised  flags  equivalent  to  the  amount  of  their 
subsidy.  By  either  method  of  differential  treatment  increased  trade 
under  fair  conditions  would  be  assured  ;  for  no  nation  can  afford  to 
bolster  up  indefinitely  such  an  industry  as  the  sailing  of  unprofitable 
ships. 

The  severity  of  foreign  shipping  competition  has  certainly  some 
bearing  on  the  question  of  the  decrease  of  British  sailors  in  the  mer- 
cantile marine.  One  effect  has  been  to  prevent  the  wages  of  the 
seafarer  from  rising  in  the  same  degree  that  they  have  in  employ- 
ments on  shore,  and  thus  the  sea  has  ceased  to  tempt  young  men 
to  adopt  it  as  their  career  in  life  in  the  same  way  as  it  used  to  do. 

In  the  evidence  given  before  the  committee  recently  appointed  by 
the  Board  of  Trade  to  enquire  into  questions  affecting  the  mercan- 
tile marine ;  it  was  shown  how  British  sailors  had  decreased  steadily 
from  1890  to  1901,  and  how  foreign  (other  than  Asiatic)  sailors  had 
steadily  increased  thus  : 


— 

1890 

1895 

1901 

British   
Foreign  (exclusive  of  Asiatics) 

165,827 
27,035 

158,983 
32,045 

151,376 
37,174 

1904   BRITISH  SHIPPING  AND  FISCAL  EEFOEM   195 


The  following  table  illustrates  tlie  advance  of  wages  made  relatively 
in  shore  and  sea  life  : 


Trade 

1850 

I860 

1897 

Increase  of 

s. 

s. 

s.        d. 

Per  cent. 

(  Carpenters 

104 

112 

142     8 

38 

Ashore  <  Compositors 

120 

120 

140     0 

16 

[_  Bricklayers 

116 

128 

168     0 

45 

fAble  Seaman  — 

Sea   .  <^      Sail 

45 

50 

60     0 

33 

L     Fireman 

79 

85 

85    0 

7 

To  pay  higher  wages  in  British  ships  is  now  impossible  ;  the  same 
may  be  said  indeed  of  any  reform  that  calls  for  expenditure  on  the 
part  of  the  shipowner.  When  once  it  is  recognised  that  the  important 
thing  is  not  so  much  what  wages  are  paid  for,  as  where  they  come 
from,  it  will  not  be  difficult  to  see  the  truth  of  this  statement.  The 
capitalist  shipowner  is  the  wage  fund  of  the  seaman.  So  long  as  the 
shipowner  lives,  so  long  does  the  wage  fund  last,  and  is  available  for 
the  purchase  of  labour.  If  through  good  trade  the  shipowner  grows 
rich,  the  wage  fund  grows  with  him ;  if  through  a  surplus  of  tonnage, 
severe  competition,  or  trade  depression,  he  grows  poorer,  the  wage 
fund  dwindles  too.  The  main  point  then  is  to  preserve  the  wage  fund 
at  the  back  of  the  shipowner  ;  and  having  done  that,  the  wage-earners 
have  ample  power  through  combination  to  ensure  that  they  get  their 
share  of  '  the  better  times  '  that  follow. 

If  British  shipowners  were  supported,  in  times  of  need,  by  a  policy 
possessing  retaliatory  power  against  those  nations  which  sought  to 
ruin  their  trade  by  artificial  means,  there  can  be  little  hesitation  in 
saying  that  seafaring  would  become  more  popular  as  it  became  more 
profitable,  and  would  once  again  resume  its  position  as  the  calling  of 
those  who  should  form  the  backbone  of  the  navy  and  the  nation. 

The  progress  of  British  shipping  forms  an  interesting  study.  In 
short,  it  may  be  said  that  prior  to  1805  Britain  maintained  her  supre- 
macy through  the  zeal  and  courage  of  her  naval  commanders  ;  subse- 
quent to  Trafalgar  through  the  navigation  laws — in  other, words,  through 
legislative  prohibition  to  import  goods  to  British  shores  in  foreign 
ships.  After  the  repeal  of  the  navigation  laws  in  1854,  a  set-back 
occurred  to  British  shipping,  with  a  concurrent  augmentation  in  foreign 
shipping.  Indeed,  so  great  was  the  impetus  given  to  alien  shipping  by 
the  repeal  that  the  foreign  tonnage  visiting  British  ports  was  almost 
doubled  in  a  decade. 

Then  came  the  introduction  of  iron  in  place  of  wood  for  shipbuilding, 
which  restored  once  more  to  Britain  her  leading  position  as  a  maritime 
power. 

When  ships  were  built  of  wood,  and  the  motive  power  was  sail, 
timber  had  to  be  imported  with  which  to  build  the  vessels,  as  also 
the  hemp,  cordage,  and  flax  for  setting  up  the  rigging  and  sails. 


196  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  Aug. 

But  when  iron  came  to  be  used,  our  shipbuilders  were  able  to 
depend  upon  home  supplies  of  iron  ore,  lime,  and  coal,  all  of  which 
are  found  in  the  United  Kingdom.  Other  nations  might  be  able  to 
build  wooden  ships  cheaper  than  we ;  but  none  could  compete  in  the 
price  of  an  iron  or  steel  steamer.  Hence  the  dawn  of  the  iron  age 
enabled  Britain  to  recover  her  decline  following  on  the  repeal  of  the 
navigation  laws. 

The  annexed  figures,  gleaned  from  a  paper  read  before  the  Royal 
Statistical  Society  by  Sir  John  Glover,  will  show  the  varying  changes 
as  described. 

Table  showing  percentage  of  foreign  tonnage  as  compared  with 
British  tonnage  entered  and  cleared  in  British  ports  : 

Foreign        British 
Per  cent.     Per  cent. 

1848  (Previous  to  the  repeal  of  the  navigation  laws)       .  28-8  71-2 

1860  (Effect  of  the  repeal) 41-8  58'2 

1870  (Subsequent  to  the  introduction  of  iron  in  ship- 
building)        29-8  70-2 

With  the  greater  portion  of  the  world's  '  carrying  power '  in 
British  hands,  it  is  not  surprising  that  British  trade  should  have 
developed  in  greater  proportion,  and  with  more  rapidity,  than  the 
commerce  of  all  other  nations. 

During  the  twenty  years  between  1860  and  1880  railway  transport 
was  still  in  the  first  stage  of  development.  Carriage  by  sea  for  goods  in 
quantity  was  by  far  the  cheapest  and  most  convenient  mode  of  trans- 
port. British  shipowners  were  able  by  reason  of  earning  '  double 
freights '  (outward  as  well  as  inward  cargoes)  to  allow  of  low  cost  of 
carriage  for  home  merchandise.  Hence  British  merchants,  through 
British  maritime  supremacy,  were  able  to  exploit  their  wares  in  foreign 
and  neutral  markets  with  such  advantages  in  their  favour  as  pro- 
hibited all  other  nations  from  competition. 

In  the  early  days  of  continental  manufacturing  activity  there 
was  a  tremendous  demand  for  British  coal,  which  export  formed 
a  paying  ballast  cargo,  and  enabled  vessels  to  return  with 
'  imports '  of  rarw  material  at  a  lower  rate  of  freight  than  they  would 
otherwise  have  been  able  to  do.  But  it  seems  doubtful  whether 
coal  will  long  continue  as  a  staple  export  of  this  country.  As  new 
fuels  and  more  economical  methods  of  propulsion  are  devised,  the 
demand  for  coal  will  be  restricted,  and  what  demand  there  is  will  be 
more  readily  and  more  cheaply  supplied  from  foreign  or  colonial  pits 
than  from  those  in  the  United  Kingdom. 

Already  Germany,  the  United  States  of  America,  Australia, 
Belgium,  Japan,  India,  Natal,  and  New  Zealand  export  coal  in  ever- 
increasing  quantities. 

This  cheapness  given  by  '  export  cargoes  '  to  imports  has  a  great 
and  beneficial  effect  upon  the  well-being  of  the  people,  both  as  regards 
their  food  and  employment ;  and  it  is  essential  for  the  continued  pre- 


1904   BBITISH  SHIPPING  AND  FISCAL  REFORM    197 


valence  of  '  cheapness,'  and  for  the  competitive  power  of  the  mercan- 
tile marine,  that  '  export  cargoes '  of  some  sort  should  be  found  for 
British  shipping.  If  it  is  not  permanently  possible  to  put  our  trust 
in  coal,  then  we  should  strive  all  we  can  to  develop  our  manufactures. 

Of  recent  years  there  has  been  a  marked  increase  in  the  amount 
of  competitive  foreign  tonnage  afloat,  mainly  due  to  the  develop- 
ment of  foreign  shipbuilding.  One  result  is  that  a  distinct  advance 
has  taken  place  in  regard  to  the  amount  of  carrying  which  certain 
nations  do  of  their  own  trade. 

The  following  table  gives  an  idea  of  this,  showing  as  it  does  the 
percentage  of  tonnage  entered  and  cleared  under  the  national  flag  of 
the  total  tonnage  entered  and  cleared  in  the  ports  of  the  countries 
named,  and  also  showing  the  percentage  of  British  tonnage  entered 
and  cleared  in  the  same  ports. 


16 

90 

1900 

Country 

_ 

National 

British 

National           British 

Eussia 

7-3 

55-1 

10-3            44-7 

British  decrease. 

Norway 

631 

16-3 

66-1            12-0 

British  decrease. 

Sweden 

33-7 

22-1 

38-3            12-0 

British  decrease. 

Germany 

42-4 

36-6 

47-5            29-9 

British  decrease. 

Italy  . 

24-8 

48-4 

48-8            23-8 

British  decrease. 

U.S.A. 

22-1 

52-8 

16-9            52-8 

Remained  the  same. 

The  point  to  be  noted  is  that  as  foreign  tonnage  increased  and  came 
into  competition  with  British  tonnage,  the  latter  had  to  give  way. 

When  one  remembers  that  there  is  a  limit  to  the  demand  for  carry- 
ing capacity  in  the  world,  and  that  the  favour  of  a  cargo  falls  to  the 
vessel  that  will  carry  it  at  the  lowest  rate  of  freight,  it  is  not  sur- 
prising that  some  people  should  question  whether,  if  things  go  on  as 
they  are  going  now  without  alteration  or  change,  the  dominating 
position  of  British  shipping  may  not  be  seriously  undermined. 

In  times  gone  by  we  obtained  our  strength  from  within  the  United 
Kingdom — from  iron  ore  and  coal.  But  these  old-time  buttresses 
have  lost  their  efficacy.  Let  us  alter  our  policy  and  draw  our  strength 
to-day  from  an  empire  united  commercially.*  Let  us  aim  at  a 
federation  framed  not  merely  in  regard  to  personal  or  insular  pro- 
sperity, but  having  as  its  basis  the  advancement  and  defence  of  trade 
on  broad  and  reciprocal  lines,  and  which  we  should  be  ready  to  share 
with  all  who  meet  us  in  freedom  and  fairness. 

Some  may  object  to  reciprocal  measures  because  they  see  in  them 
a  leaning  towards  protection.  Others  oppose  such  reform  because 
they  do  not  imagine  it  can  benefit  this  or  that  industry.  And  others, 
again,  because  they  do  not  believe  in  adapting  the  policy  of  their 
day  to  suit  the  circumstances  of  their  time  ;  trusting  rather  to  fortune 
to  bring  all  things  right  in  the  end. 

To  such  as  these  the  words  of  Alexander  Hamilton  must  come  with 


198 


Aug. 


disconcerting  emphasis,  for  he  says  :  '  It  is  too  much  characteristic  of 
our  national  temper  to  be  ingenious  in  finding  out  and  magnifying 
the  minutest  disadvantages  ;  and  to  reject  measures  of  evident  utility, 
even  of  necessity,  to  avoid  trivial  and  sometimes  imaginary  evils. 
We  seem  not  to  reflect  that  in  human  society  there  is  scarcely  any 
plan,  however  salutary  to  the  whole  and  to  every  part,  by  the  share 
each  has  in  the  common  prosperity,  but  in  one  way  or  another,  and 
under  particular  circumstances,  will  operate  more  to  the  benefit  of 
some  parts  than  of  others.  Unless  we  can  overcome  this  narrow  dis- 
position, and  learn  to  estimate  measures  by  their  general  tendencies, 
we  shall  never  be  a  great  or  a  happy  people,  if  we  remain  a  people 
at  all.' 

GRAHAM. 


1904 


THE  LIBERAL   PRESS 
AND     THE    LIBERAL    PARTY 


To  one  who,  for  some  time  past,  has  not  only  been  cultivating  a  con- 
stituency of  his  own,  but  has,  in  addition,  been  paying  electioneering 
visits  to  other  constituencies,  the  least  satisfactory  feature  of  the 
Liberal  position  in  the  country  is  the  inefficiency  of  its  press.  It  is 
a  parrot  cry — particularly  on  the  part  of  those  having  no  great  depth 
of  conviction  themselves — that  the  press  has  ceased  to  influence  the 
country ;  that  people  merely  read  papers  for  their  news,  and  not  for 
their  opinions ;  and  that,  in  short,  conductors  of  newspapers  and  their 
leader-writers  are,  as  professed  guides  and  teachers,  found  out  and 
played  out.  This  is  probably  no  more  true  nowadays  than  it  has 
been  since  organs  of  public  opinion  existed.  My  own  experience 
has  convinced  me  that  the  man  who  does  not  read  opinions  in  daily 
or  weekly  papers  and  reviews  is,  in  nine  cases  out  of  ten,  a  man  having 
neither  knowledge  nor  views  on  public  questions ;  in  the  tenth  case 
his  views  are  a  mere  collection  of  crudities  or  a  reflection  of  those 
he  hears  expressed  around  him,  in  office,  workshop,  factory,  public 
conveyance,  or  club.  They  have  no  fixed  quality,  they  are  never 
informed,  and  have  rarely  even  the  vitality  of  prejudices.  The 
point  indeed  is  hardly  worth  labouring,  and  no  one  who  takes  the 
trouble  to  test  the  origin  of  the  average  man's  views  can  fail  to  find 
that  they  spring  from  the  acceptance  or  the  rejection  of  the  opinions 
laid  down  in  newspapers. 

How  could  it  be  otherwise  ?  What  I  find  the  normal  busy  man 
does  not  read  in  the  newspapers  are  the  Parliamentary  reports,  not 
even  in  the  attenuated  form  in  which  they  are  given  in  many  of  the 
Tory  organs,  and  in  all  the  so-called  leading  Liberal  papers — with 
the  commendable  exception  of  one  or  two  of  the  principal  provincial 
journals.  For  this  abstention  the  average  man  is  certainly  not  to 
be  blamed,  the  attempt — if  it  may  even  be  dignified  by  the  name  of 
an  attempt — to  pack  into  a  couple  of  columns  reports  of  discussions 
ranging  over  a  wide  variety  of  subjects,  and  lasting  perhaps  some 
eight  hours,  merely  resulting  in  a  blurred  impression  that  conveys 
little  or  no  meaning  to  the  man  who  brings  no  special  knowledge  to 
their  perusal.  Even  the  gentlemen  whose  mission  it  is,  from  the 

199 


200  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

Press  Gallery  of  the  House  of  Commons,  to  provide  in  narrative  form 
a  running  report  of,  and  commentary  on,  the  debates,  seldom  succeed 
in  conveying  an  adequate  presentment  of  what  has  taken  place.  They 
are  hampered,  in  the  first  place,  by  space  limitations,  and  in  the 
second — and  this,  perhaps,  is  the  more  important  consideration  of 
the  two — they  are,  for  the  most  part,  so  much  more  interested  in 
personalities  than  in  politics  that  one  unfamiliar  with  the  leading 
personages  in  Parliament  derives  neither  refreshment  nor  knowledge 
from  their  chronicles.  So  far,  therefore,  as  these  two  features  of  the 
daily  papers  are  concerned — where  they  exist  at  all — I  agree  that 
they  play  very  little  part  in  the  political  education  of  newspaper 
readers.  There  remain,  therefore,  as  educational  factors,  the  leading 
article  and  the  special  article,  and  these,  I  am  convinced,  from  inquiry 
and  observation,  exert  at  the  present  time  as  much  influence  on  the 
general  reader  as  they  have  done  at  any  time  in  the  history  of  the 
popular  press. 

This  much  admitted,  it  is  not  surprising  that  Liberalism  had  until 
the  recent  cataclysmal  series  of  blunders  on  the  part  of  the  Govern- 
ment, become  a  broken  force,  incapable  of  winning  fresh  converts 
on  its  own  merits,  and  mainly  indebted  for  the  foothold  it  contrived 
to  maintain  to  the  recklessness  and  costliness  of  the  Ministerial 
policy. 

For  it  is  my  purpose  to  show  that  much  of  the  anti-Liberal  feeling 
that  has  distinguished  politics  in  this  country  for  nearly  twenty  years 
past  has  been  due  to  the  general  weakness  of  the  Liberal  press,  and 
to  its  very  partially  representative  character.  It  has,  during  that 
time,  produced  no  really  great  journalist,  and  its  conductors  have 
been  content  to  shape  their  line  of  conduct  by  a  more  or  less  blind 
following  of  individuals  rather  than  by  framing  and  enforcing  a 
distinctive  policy.  Of  course  there  has  been  Mr.  Stead,  and  if  that 
gentleman  had  had  a  less  consuming  vanity  and  had  not  mistaken 
a  somewhat  crude  emotionalism  for  pure  reason,  he  might  and  pro- 
bably would  have  acquired  a  reputation  greater  than  that  of  any 
journalist  in  this  country.  But  Mr.  Stead's  amazing  lack  of  stability — 
amazing  considering  his  tenacity  and  his  perspicuity — made  him,  as 
it  has  left  him,  a  hot  gospeller  rather  than  a  journalist-statesman. 
And  yet,  amid  the  crowd  of  more  commonplace  mortals  who  have 
conducted  newspapers  at  any  time  during  the  past  twenty  years, 
his  is  the  only  name  that  emerges  from  the  ruck,  and  in  this  are  to  be 
included  not  only  Liberal  but  Tory  editors. 

To  journalists  themselves  other  names,  and  mostly  those  at  the 
head  of  the  leading  provincial  papers,  are  familiar,  but  though  the 
heavier  metal  is  undoubtedly  to  be  found  in  the  provinces,  there  is 
hardly  a  single  provincial  editor  whose  name  is  known  as  a  political 
guide  outside  the  area  of  his  own  town.  But  while  the  Conservative 
press  has  been  as  barren  as  its  Liberal  counterpart,  it  has,  up  to  quite 


1004     THE   LIBERAL   PRESS  AND   THE  PARTY    201 

recently,  had  the  good  fortune  to  reflect  a  fairly  constant  element  in 
politics.  This  has  to  a  large  extent  atoned  for  its  commonplaceness 
and  its  uninspiring  character,  and  has  made  it  a  tolerably  cohesive 
force  in  the  country.  The  Liberals,  on  the  other  hand,  except  for  the 
Konfliktszeit  of  1892-95,  three  years  of  pitiful  attempt  tempered  by 
almost  ceaseless  intrigue  of  a  particularly  ignoble  sort,  have  been 
sheep  without  a  shepherd,  and  as  a  result  the  Liberal  press  has  been 
swayed  by  this  group  or  that,  by  this  individual  or  the  other.  What 
has  been  the  consequence  ?  A  press  feebly  groping  for  a  policy,  and 
speaking  with  many  voices — a  more  or  less  exact  reflection  indeed  of 
what  has  been  found  on  the  front  Opposition  Bench  of  Parliament 
itself.  It  has  been  Roseberyite,  Bannermanite,  Morleyite,  and  even 
Harcourtite,  according  as  these  great  men  took  its  transient  fancy  or 
seemed  like  '  coming  out  on  top.' 

What  wonder,  then,  that  save  for  a  few  exceptions  to  be  noted 
hereafter,  the  provincial  Liberal  press  has  become  feebler  and  feebler, 
and  in  the  smaller  towns  has  almost  ceased  to  exist,  the  little  pro- 
vincial editor,  with  no  particular  ideas  of  his  own,  and  with  no  great 
depth  of  conviction,  adapting  the  course  of  his  paper  to  the  local 
stream  of  tendency.  Thus  he  saw,  until  recently,  most  of  the  public 
offices,  the  knighthoods,  the  *  gentry,'  and  even  the  shopkeepers 
following  the  main  stream  of  Toryism,  and  he  damped  down  his  Liberal 
enthusiasm,  when  he  had  any,  and  ambled  along  with  the  larger 
crowd.  This  is  a  process  I  have  found  repeated  over  and  over  again 
in  the  smaller  towns,  and  it  has  happened  not  infrequently  in  many 
of  the  larger  cities.  There  have,  as  already  stated,  been  some  notable 
exceptions,  and  these — perhaps  because  they  were  farther  removed 
from  the  political  centre  of  disturbance — have  not  only  escaped  the 
indecisions  and  wobblings  of  their  London  contemporaries,  but  have 
strengthened  and  solidified  their  position.  Their  influence,  in  con- 
sequence, is  immeasurably  greater  than  that  of  the  more  pretentious 
London  papers. 

At  their  head  must  still  be  placed  the  Manchester  Guardian,  the 
vitality  of  which  enabled  it  to  emerge  successfully  from  the  well-nigh 
disastrous  situation  it  created  for  itself  owing  to  its  attitude  over  the 
South  African  war.  I  cannot,  of  course,  pretend  to  say  how  far  this 
attitude  injured  its  financial  prosperity  ;  but  that  it,  for  a  time,  almost 
completely  nullified  its  former  great  political  influence  is  certain.  It 
now  stands  admittedly  at  the  head  of  the  press  of  the  Midlands,  alike 
in  influence  and  in  circulation,  and  if  it  were  possible  to  transplant  it 
bodily  from  Manchester  to  London — with  the  remodelling  of  certain 
news  features  necessitated  by  the  change  of  locus — London  Liberalism 
would  be  greatly  the  gainer.  That  Manchester  has  not  been  wholly 
lost  to  Liberalism  is  due  to  the  Guardian,  and  it  will,^no  doubt,  when 
the  country  has  been  given  the  opportunity  of  expressing  its  judgment 
at  the  polls  on  that  virtuous  record  of  the  Government  which  is  tne 


202  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

object  of  such  smug  self-complacency  to  Mr.  Joseph  Chamberlain, 
become  once  more  the  authoritative  voice  of  that  long  discredited 
•*  Manchesterthum  '  that  we  had  all  thought  had  become  a  bygone. 

It  is  less  easy  to  award  second  place  to  the  few  remaining  Liberal 
provincial  journals  of  note.  Of  first-class  importance  there  are  only 
two — the  Liverpool  Post  and  the  Glasgow  Herald — though  the  Dundee 
Advertiser,  the  solitary  exponent  of  Liberalism  of  any  note  for  the 
whole  of  the  north  and  east  of  Scotland,  and  the  Sheffield  Inde- 
pendent remain  sturdily  Radical,  even  if  their  influence  is  not 
far-reaching. 

But  it  is  in  the  old  provincial  homes  of  Liberalism  that  the  defec- 
tion of  its  press  is  most  marked,  a  defection  that  must  be  pronounced 
to  be  due,  not  so  much  to  a  real  decline  in  Liberal  convictions  on 
the  part  of  the  people,  as  to  the  rise  of  the  halfpenny  press.  Up  to 
twenty  years  ago,  when  the  daily  press  was  as  decorous  as  it  was 
often  dull,  the  methods  that  have  revolutionised  our  newspapers 
would  have  made  no  successful  appeal  to  the  country  at  large.  Their 
authors  were  probably  at  that  time  in  short  frocks  or  knickerbockers, 
and  the  bulk  of  their  present  readers  were  also  either  in  the  nursery 
or  attending  one  of  the  lower  standards  of  the  Board  Schools.  It 
would  be  foolish,  however,  to  rail  against  this  product  of  a  shallow, 
hurried,  and  unthinking  age.  The  most  noteworthy  fact  in  con- 
nection with  it  is  that  the  conductors  and  proprietors  of  Liberal  news- 
papers should  have  been  entirely  blind  to  the  growth  of  this  army  of 
potential  newspaper  readers,  people  with  just  sufficient  education 
to  enable  them  to  find  interest  in  the  events  of  the  day,  but  with 
intelligences  so  untrained  that  the  only  means  of  reaching  them  was 
to  make  strident  appeal  to  their  emotions,  through  the  medium  of 
platitude  and  claptrap.  Fixity  of  views,  honesty  of  purpose,  mattered 
little.  What  this  great  uninformed  public  wanted  first  of  all  was 
news  in  brief  compass,  and  more  attractively  presented  than  by  the 
older-fashioned  papers.  No  doubt  this  represented  the  measure  of 
the  intentions  of  the  earliest  promoters  of  the  halfpenny  press,  and 
they  were  probably  driven  in  spite  of  themselves  to  the  propagation 
of  political  views  and  opinions — not  always  the  same  views  and  opinions, 
but  varying  according  to  the  signs  or  mood  of  the  moment.  And 
meanwhile  the  more  sedate  and  undoubtedly  duller  Liberal  press, 
alike  in  London  and  the  provinces,  refused  to  change  its  methods, 
and  left  the  guidance  of  this  amorphous  and  undisciplined  army  to 
its  not  too  scrupulous  opponents,  until  it  found  itself  threatened  with 
extinction ;  until  in  some  cases  individual  newspapers  realised  that  it 
was  too  late  even  for  a  change  of  methods,  and  they  had  perforce  to 
consent  to  absorption  or  destruction.  This  want  of  alertness  led  in 
the  provinces  to  more  than  one  of  the  large  towns  being  deprived  of 
any  Liberal  journal  of  a  representative  character.  Newcastle,  that 
old  pillar  of  earnest  Radicalism,  has  gone,  the  Newcastle  Daily 


1904     THE  LIBERAL   PEESS  AND    THE  PARTY    203 

Chronicle  having  been  squeezed  out  by  its  younger  and  more  vigorous 
rivals,  with  the  result  that,  from  Glasgow  to  Bradford,  there  is  no 
representative  Liberal  daily  newspaper.  And  even  in  Bradford, 
where  the  political  parties  are  about  equally  divided,  and  in  the 
neighbouring  town  of  Leeds,  where  the  Liberals  had  a  not  incon- 
siderable majority  at  the  last  election,  the  party  press  has  for  some 
time  past  been  steadily  losing  ground. 

In  the  Southern  and  Home  counties,  local  Liberal  journalism  can 
hardly  be  said  to  exist,  the  long  spell  of  Tory  Government  having 
driven  nearly  all  the  journalistic  sheep  into  the  Tory  pasture.  There 
are  towns  in  the  Home  Counties  of  sufficient  importance  to  supporc 
three  or  four  weekly  papers  and  perhaps  an  evening  paper  in  addition, 
in  which  the  Liberals  have  no  representative  organ.  No  doubt  the 
accession  of  the  Liberals  to  power  would  bring  some  of  these  weaklings 
over  to  the  Liberal  side,  but  the  battle  that  is  to  bring  this  about 
has  to  be  fought  without  their  assistance,  and  for  the  most  part 
against  their  opposition,  although  many  recent  by-elections  have 
shown  that  the  electorate  is  preponderatingly  Liberal. 

In  the  West  the  situation  is  even  more  anomalous.  Passing  over 
Dorsetshire  and  Somersetshire,  where  the  sparse  and  scattered  nature 
of  the  population  does  not  encourage  vigorous  newspaper  develop- 
ment, we  find  the  same  Liberal  journalistic  inertia  in  Devon  and 
Cornwall,  the  most  influential  papers  being  Conservative  in  com- 
plexion, although  the  Parliamentary  representation  of  both  counties 
is  overwhelmingly  Liberal.  This  may  seem  to  tell  against  my  con- 
tention that  newspaper  readers  are  influenced  by  the  views  expressed 
in  the  journals  they  read.  To  this  I  would  reply  that,  as  almost 
invariably  happens,  the  readers  have  run  ahead  of  their  guides  for 
the  many  reasons  that  have  contributed  to  weaken  the  present  Govern- 
ment in  the  country,  and,  with  the  timidity  that  distinguishes  most 
newspaper  conductors,  these  latter  are  listening  for  the  fully  ex- 
pressed voice  of  the  country  before  changing  their  policy.  If,  there- 
fore, as  seems  tolerably  assured,  the  Liberal  party  emerges  trium- 
phantly from  the  next  trial  of  strength  at  the  polls,  it  will  owe  little 
to  the  work  and  influence  of  the  provincial  Liberal  press. 

In  London,  the  relative  disproportion  of  the  Liberal  and  Con- 
servative daily  papers — alike  in  numbers,  in  influence,  and  in  cir- 
culation— is  no  less  marked.  It  is  clear,  indeed,  that  in  spite  of  the 
manifest  revival  of  Liberalism  in  London,  its  representative  press 
has  dwindled  both  in  magnitude  and  in  importance.  The  first  step 
in  the  downward  path  dates,  it  need  hardly  be  said,  from  the  time  of 
the  Home  Rule  split.  There  were  at  that  period  only  two  Liberal 
morning  newspapers,  the  Daily  News  and  the  Daily  Chronicle,  and  as 
each  took  a  different  course  on  the  Irish  question,  cohesion  disap- 
peared from  the  ranks  of  the  party.  Neither,  it  is  true,  has  been 
consistent  in  its  attitude  on  Irish  affairs,  and  each  has,  at  different 


204  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTUBY  Aug. 

times,  displayed  a  suspicious  alacrity  to  declare  Home  Rule  outside 
practical  politics. 

But  in  this  matter,  the  two  papers  may  be  said  to  have  reflected 
rather  than  formed  the  opinions  held  by  the  rank  and  file  of  the 
party.     At  the  present  moment,  though  the  Daily  News  refuses  to 
admit  that  the  question  can  be  shelved,  and  makes  periodical  excur- 
sions into  the  open  for  the  purpose  of  waving  the  tattered  green  flag, 
and  reminding  non-Home  Rulers  that  it  has  its  eye  on  them,  its 
earnestly  meant  attempts  to  restrict  the  Liberal  party  to  a  drab  and 
sad  type  of  Nonconformity  and  a  nebulous  but  flighty  form  of  Radical- 
Socialism  cannot  be   said   to  have   been   conspicuously   successful. 
But,  notwithstanding  a  decided  narrowness  of  outlook,  and  an  over- 
ready  disposition  to  ban  all  who  cannot '  bolt  the  bran  '  of  its  peculiar 
type  of  Liberalism,  the  Daily  News  has,  since  it  reduced  its  price  to  a 
halfpenny,  grown  greatly  in  circulation,  and  possibly  also  in  influence. 
It  does  not  represent  the  Liberal  party  as  a  whole ;  it  would  be  difficult, 
for  example,  for  a  Churchman,  or  a  Liberal  Roman  Catholic — and 
there  are  still  some  left — to  find  in  it  other  than  many  causes  of  offence  ; 
but  it  is  a  gospel  to  a  large  section  of  Liberalism,  and  the  party 
would  be  in  exceedingly  bad  case  without  it.     In  its  recent  growth 
among  the  more  earnest  sections  of  Liberals,  it  has  no  doubt  been 
largely  assisted  by  the  newest  development  of  the  Daily  Chronicle, 
which  in  reducing  its  price  to  a  halfpenny  has  relegated  the  serious 
consideration  of  political  and  social  questions  to  a  very  secondary 
place.    But  where  the  Chronicle  condescends  to  politics  it  certainly 
makes  a  wider  appeal  to  the  party  than  its  principal  rival,  and  if 
it  did  not  overload  its  columns  with  the  more  meretricious  side  of 
journalism ;  if,  in  fact,  it  did  not  give  up  to  things  of  no  importance 
about  as  large  a  proportion  of  its  space  as  the  Daily  News  devotes  to 
a  narrow  sectarianism,  there  is  still  no  reason  why  it  should  not 
become   in   London   the    really   representative   Liberal    newspaper. 
There  remains,  among  the  fighting  forces  of  London  Liberalism,  the 
Morning  Leader,  which,  with  a  good  circulation  in  the  North,  East, 
and  South-Eastern  districts  of  the  metropolis,  has  built  up  a  new 
class  of  Liberal — or,  rather,  Radical — readers.    But  no  one  of  the 
three  papers  in  question  can  be  said  to  make   a  strong,  or   even 
a  direct,  appeal  to  the  party  at  large,  and  they  offer  but  a  pitiful 
contrast   to  the  eight  Conservative  morning  papers  of  the  capital, 
which,  whatever  their  differences  on  points  of  detail  in  Conservative 
policy,  are  united  in  support  of  the  Unionist  party. 

In  evening  newspapers  the  contrast  is  equally  marked,  for  while 
the  two  halfpenny  organs,  the  Star  and  the  Echo,  compare  more  than 
favourably  in  conduct  and  influence  with  the  two  halfpenny  Tory 
papers,  the  Evening  News  and  the  Sun,  the  only  heavier  ordnance 
the  Liberals  can  oppose  to  the  Globe,  the  Pall  Mall  Gazette,  the 
St.  James's  Gazette,  and  the  Evening  Standard  is  the  Westminster  Gazette. 


1904     THE  LIBERAL   PRESS  AND   THE   PARTY    205 

Here,  however,  the  superiority  on  the  Tory  side  is  merely  in  point  of 
numbers.  Needless  to  refer  to  the  enormous  value  of  Mr.  Gould's 
cartoons,  which,  though  limited  in  range  of  ideas,  have  been  justly 
described  as  one  of  the  best  assets  of  the  Liberal  party.  Nothing, 
indeed,  could  better  attest  to  the  dearth  of  real  political  cartoonists 
on  both  sides  than  the  fact  that  among  the  lesser  men  who  essay  this 
form  of  pictorial  art  there  is  not  one  who  comes  within  measurable 
distance  of  the  Westminster  cartoonist.  One  feels  that  the  only  man 
who  could  approach  him,  if  he  possessed  the  same  political  insight, 
is  Mr.  E.  J.  Reed.  But  while  the  latter  gentleman  is  a  born  artist, 
Mr.  Gould  is  a  born  politician,  in  whose  equipment  art  occupies  but 
a  secondary  place.  It  would,  however,  be  unjust  to  attribute  the 
entire  political  value  of  the  Westminster  to  its  cartoons.  Partly,  no 
doubt,  as  a  result  of  the  uncertainty  that  has  characterised  the  leading 
columns  of  its  two  principal  morning  contemporaries  for  some  years 
past,  the  Westminster  has  come,  in  the  minds  of  the  more  influential 
section  of  Liberals,  to  represent  a  much-needed  moderation  of  tone 
and  constancy  of  views.  In  its  treatment  of  those  questions  con- 
cerning which  the  Liberal  party  is  of  at  least  two  minds,  the  West- 
minster acts  consistently  as  Moderator,  holding  the  balance  very 
skilfully ;  and  while  it  did  not,  during  the  progress  of  the  South  African 
war,  escape  the  reproach  of  being  labelled  '  Pro-Boer '  by  the  Imperialist 
Liberals,  and  while  it  is  occasionally  suspected  by  the  other  side  of 
being  out  of  sympathy  with  the  advanced  programme,  the  fact  remains 
that  it  is  perhaps  the  only  representative  Liberal  paper  with  which  all 
sections  practically  agree,  and  if  it  were  on  occasion  a  little  more 
vigorous,  more  outspoken,  when  a  strong  line  is  indicated,  it  might 
easily  become  a  great  fighting  force.  $ 

In  Sunday  and  weekly  papers  and  reviews,  published  in  London, 
an  even  greater  disparity  exists  than  in  the  case  of  the  daily  press. 
Of  the  distinctively  weekly  papers,  those,  that  is  to  say,  giving  a 
survey  of  the  week's  news,  not  one  represents  the  Liberal  party  since 
the  defection  of  Lloyd's,  which,  though  under  the  same  proprietor- 
ship as  the  Daily  Chronicle,  has  become  the  advocate  of  a  somewhat 
tepid  form  of  Unionism.  In  purely  Sunday  papers  also  the  only  one 
out  of  some  half  dozen  which  the  Liberals  can  claim  is  the  Sunday 
Sun,  and  this  is  neither  very  robust  in  its  politics  nor  very  lively  as 
to  the  rest  of  it.  The  remainder,  even  if  not  very  intelligent  in  their 
politics,  are  either  whole-heartedly  or  flippantly  Tory. 

Of  the  weekly  reviews,  but  one — The  Speaker — flies  the  Liberal 
colours,  and  that  one,  though  it  contains  much  admirable  work, 
makes  a  deliberate  appeal  only  to  a  section,  and  that  a  rather  narrow 
section,  of  the  party.  It  is,  indeed,  mainly  distinguished  by  a  youthful 
and  not  very  enlightened  intolerance  of  all  who  do  not  share  its 
somewhat  doctrinaire  views.  Some  advantage  has  undoubtedly 
accrued  to  the  Liberal  party  from  the  revolt  of  the  Spectator  against 
VOL.  LVI— No.  330  p 


206  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUBY  Aug. 

Chamberlainism,  and  if,  as  some  people  profess  to  think  probable, 
there  should  follow  on  the  next'general  election  a  regrouping  of  parties, 
in  which  the  Free  Trade  and  more  Progressive  Unionists  should  decide 
to  act  with  the  Moderate  Liberals,  the  Spectator  \vould  no  doubt 
become  once  more  a  recognised  exponent  of  broad  Liberal  views. 

The  foregoing  survey  shows,  I  think,  that  the  unquestioned  con- 
version of  the  majority  of  the  country — as  testified  by  the  past  score 
or  so  of  by-elections — owes  very  little  to  the  Liberal  press.  In  number 
of  newspapers  and  in  circulation  the  Tory  press  has,  as  I  have  shown, 
an  immense  and  unquestioned  superiority,  and  yet  the  Conservatives 
are  as  surely  slipping  back  as  the  Liberals  are  pressing  forward.  What 
use  does  the  Liberal  press  throughout  the  country  propose  to  make 
of  the  powerful  weapon  that  is  ready  forged  to  its  hand  ?  Is  there 
to  be  found  the  same  want  of  cohesion,  the  same  ridiculous  bickering 
over  non-essentials  that  has  marked  the  conduct  of  Liberal  newspapers 
and  reviews  for  nearly  a  score  of  years  past  ?  If  so,  it  is  certain  that 
the  country's  support  of  the  party  will  not  be  of  long  duration,  and 
the  next  state  of  Liberal  journalism,  and  therefore  of  Liberalism, 
will  be  even  worse  than  that  which  it  has  just  managed  to  survive. 
If  Liberal  journalism  is  to  flourish,  if  it  is  to  serve  as  something  more 
than  a  subsidised  vehicle  for  the  dissemination  of  particular  and 
peculiar  views,  it  must  regain  the  confidence  of  those  upon  whom  ife 
must  at  all  times  be  largely  dependent  for  its  prosperity.  This  it 
can  only  do  by  the  cultivation  of  greater  moderation  of  tone,  which 
need  entail  no  sacrifice  of  its  principles,  and  by  disabusing  the  com- 
mercial class  of  the  erroneous  idea — a  very  fixed  one  in  the  minds  of 
many — that  Liberalism  means  spoliation  and  disturbance  of  trade. 

No  doubt  the  amenities  which  are  now  so  conspicuously  wanting 
in  a  considerable  section  of  the  Liberal  press  will  come  more  easily 
and  more  naturally  when  the  positions  of  the  two  political  forces  are 
reversed.  It  may  then  be  possible  for  one  or  two  of  its  principal 
representatives,  who  have  converted  the  practice  of  proscription  into 
a  fine  art,  to  exercise  a  wider  tolerance  and  to  give  themselves  a  much- 
needed  respite  from  banning  those  with  whom  they  do  not  at  the 
moment  happen  to  agree  on  all  points  of  Liberal  policy.  That  would 
go  a  long  way  towards  reassuring  the  larger  public,  and  so  would  tend 
to  restore  to  the  Liberal  press  the  authority,  stability,  and  prosperity 
it  has  so  largely  lost  during  the  years  it  has  been  wandering  in  the 
wilderness. 

W.   J.   FlSHHR, 

Late  Editor  of  the  '  Daily  Chi  onisle.' 


1904 


THE 
ETHICAL   NEED   OF  THE  PRESENT  DAY 


'    I 

WHEN  we  cast  a  glance  upon  the  immense  progress  realised  by  all  the 
exact  sciences  in  the  course  of  the  nineteenth  century,  and  when  we 
closely  examine  the  character  of  the  conquests  achieved  by  each  of 
them,  and  the  promises  they  contain  for  the  future,  we  cannot  but 
feel  deeply  impressed  by  the  idea  that  mankind  is  entering  a  new  era 
of  progress.  It  has,  at  any  rate,  before  it  all  the  elements  for  opening 
such  a  new  era.  In  the  course  of  the  last  hundred  or  hundred-and- 
twenty  years,  entirely  new  branches  of  knowledge,  opening  unexpected 
vistas  upon  the  laws  of  development  of  human  society,  have  grown 
up  under  the  names  of  anthropology,  prehistoric  ethnology,  the 
history  of  religions,  the  origin  of  institutions,  and  so  on.  Quite  new 
conceptions  about  the  whole  life  of  the  universe  were  developed  by 
pursuing  such  lines  of  research  as  molecular  physics,  the  chemical 
structure  of  matter,  and  the  chemical  composition  of  distant  worlds. 
And  the  traditional  views  about  the  position  of  man  in  the  universe, 
the  origin  of  life,  and  the  life  of  the  mind  were  entirely  upset  by  the 
rapid  development  of  biology,  the  reappearance  of  the  theory  of 
evolution,  and  the  growth  of  physiological  psychology.  Merely  ^to 
say  that  the  progress  of  science  in  each  of  its  branches,  excepting 
perhaps  astronomy,  has  been  greater  during  the  last  century  than 
during  any  three  or  four  centuries  of  the  Middle  Ages  or  of  antiquity 
would  not  be  enough.  We  have  to  return  2300  years  back,  to 
the  glorious  times  of  the  philosophical  revival  in  ancient  Greece,  in 
order  to  find  another  period  of  sudden  awakening  of  the  intellect  and 
of  sudden  bursting  forth  of  knowledge  which  would  be  similar  to  what 
we  have  witnessed  lately.  And  yet,  at  that  early  period  of  hunven 
history,  man  did  not  enter  into  possession  of  all  those  wonders  of  indus- 
trial technique  which  have  been  arrayed  lately  in  our  service.  A  youthful, 
daring  spirit  of  invention,  stimulated  by  the  discoveries  of  science, 
and  taking  its  flight  to  new,  hitherto  inaccessible  regions,  has  increased 
our  powers  of  creating  wealth,  and  reduced  the  effort  required 
for  rendering  well-being  accessible  to  all  to  such  a  degree  that  no 

20v  r  2 


208  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

Utopian  of  antiquity,  or  of  the  Middle  Ages,  or  even  of  the  earlier 
portion  of  the  nineteenth  century,  could  have  dreamt  anything  of  the 
sort.  For  the  first  time  in  the  history  of  civilisation,  mankind  has 
reached  a  point  where  the  means  of  satisfying  its  needs  are  in  excess  of 
the  needs  themselves.  To  impose,  therefore,  as  has  hitherto  been 
done,  the  curse  of  misery  and  degradation  upon  vast  divisions  of 
mankind,  in  order  to  secure  well-being  for  the  few,  is  needed  no  more : 
well-being  can  be  secured  for  all,  without  overwork  for  any.  We  are 
thus  placed  in  a  position  entirely  to  remodel  the  very  bases  and  con- 
tents of  our  civilisation — provided  the  civilised  nations  find  in  their 
midst  the  constructive  capacities  and  the  powers  of  creation  required 
for  utilising  the  conquests  of  the  human  intellect  in  the  interest  of  all. 

Whether  our  present  civilisation  is  vigorous  and  youthful  enough 
to  undertake  such  a  great  task,  and  to  bring  it  to  the  desired  end,  we 
cannot  say  beforehand.  But  this  is  certain,  that  the  latest  revival  of 
science  has  created  the  intellectual  atmosphere  required  for  calling 
such  forces  into  existence.  Reverting  to  the  sound  philosophy  of 
Nature  which  remained  in  neglect  from  the  times  of  ancient  Greece, 
until  Bacon  began  to  wake  it  up  from  its  long  slumber,  modern  science 
has  now  worked  out  the  elements  of  a  philosophy  of  the  universe, 
free  of  supernatural  hypotheses  and  the  metaphysical  '  mythology  of 
ideas,'  and  at  the  same  time  so  grand,  so  poetical  and  inspiring,  so 
full  of  energy,  and  so  much  breathing  freedom,  that  it  certainly  is 
capable  of  calling  into  existence  the  necessary  forces.  Man  need  no 
more  clothe  his  ideals  of  moral  beauty,  and  of  a  better  organised 
society,  with  the  garb  of  superstition  :  he  can  free  himself  from  those 
fears  which  had  hitherto  damped  his  soaring  towards  a  higher  life. 

One  of  the  greatest  achievements  of  modern  science  was,  of  course, 
that  it  firmly  established  the  idea  of  indestructibility  of  energy 
through  all  the  ceaseless  transformations  which  it  undergoes  in  the 
universe.  For  the  physicist  and  the  mathematician  this  idea  became 
a  most  fruitful  source  of  discovery.  It  inspires,  in  fact,  all  modern 
research.  But  its  philosophical  import  is  equally  great.  It  accustoms 
man  to  conceive  the  life  of  the  universe  as  a  never-ending  series  of 
transformations  of  energy,  among  which  the  birth  of  our  planet,  its 
evolution,  and  its  final,  unavoidable  destruction  and  reabsorption  in 
the  great  Cosmos  are  but  an  infinitesimally  small  episode — a  mere 
moment  in  the  life  of  the  stellar  worlds.  The  same  with  the  researches 
concerning  life.  The  recent  studies  in  the  wide  borderland,  where  the 
simplest  life-processes  in  the  lowest  fungi  are  hardly  distinguishable — if 
distinguishable  at  all — from  the  chemical  redistribution  of  atoms  which 
is  always  going  on  in  the  more  complex  molecules  of  matter,  have 
divested  life  of  its  mystical  character.  At  the  same  time,  our  concep- 
tion of  life  has  been  so  widened  that  we  grow  accustomed  now  to 
conceive  all  the  agglomerations  of  matter  in  the  universe — solid, 
liquid,  and  gaseous — as  living  too,  and  going  through  those  cycles  of 


1904   ETHICAL   NEED   OF   THE   PRESENT  DAY    209 

evolution  and  decay  which  we  formerly  attributed  to-  organic  beings 
only.  Then,  reverting  to  ideas  which  were  budding  once  in  ancient 
Greece,  modern  science  has  retraced  step  by  step  that  marvellous 
evolution  which,  after  having  started  with  the  simplest  forms,  hardly 
deserving  the  name  of  organisms,  has  gradually  produced  the  infinite 
variety  of  beings  which  now  people  and  enliven  our  planet.  And,  by 
making  us  familiar  with  the  thought  that  every  organism  is  to  an 
immense  extent  the  produce  of  its  own  surroundings,  biology  has 
solved  one  of  the  greatest  riddles  of  Nature — its  harmony,  the  adapta- 
tions to  an  end  which  it  offers  us  at  every  step.  Even  in  the  most 
puzzling  of  all  manifestations  of  life,  the  domain  of  feeling  and  thought, 
in  which  human  intelligence  has  to  catch  the  very  processes  by  means 
of  which  it  succeeds  in  retaining  and  co-ordinating  the  impressions  re- 
ceived from  without — even  in  this  domain,  the  darkest  of  all,  science 
has  already  caught  a  glimpse  of  the  mechanism  of  thought  by  follow- 
ing the  lines  of  research  indicated  by  physiology.  And  finally,  in  the 
vast  field  of  human  institutions,  habits  and  laws,  superstitions,  beliefs 
and  ideals,  such  a  flood  of  light  has  been  thrown  by  the  anthropolo- 
gical schools  of  history,  law,  and  economics  that  we  can  already  main- 
tain positively  that '  the  greatest  happiness  of  the  greatest  number  ' 
is  not  a  mere  Utopia.  It  is  an  ideal  worth  striving  for,  since  it  is 
proved  that  the  prosperity  and  happiness  of  no  nation  or  class  could 
ever  be  based,  even  for  the  duration  of  a  few  generations,  upon  the 
degradation  of  other  classes,  nations,  or  races. 

Modern  science  has  thus  achieved  a  double  aim.  On  the  one  side 
it  has  given  to  man  a  great  lesson  of  modesty.  It  has  taught  him  to 
consider  himself  as  but  an  infinitesimally  small  particle  of  that  im- 
mense whole — the  universe.  It  has  driven  him  out  of  his  narrow, 
egotistical  seclusion,  and  has  dissipated  the  self-conceit  under  which 
he  considered  himself  the  centre  of  the  universe  and  the  object  of  a 
special  attention  in  it.  It  has  taught  him  that  without  the  whole 
the  'ego'  is  nothing:  that  our  'I'  cannot  even  come  to  a  self-definition 
without  the  '  Thou.' l  But  at  the  same  time  science  has  taught  man 
how  powerful  mankind  is  in  its  progressive  march  ;  and  it  has  given 
him  the  means  to  enlist  in  his  service  the  unlimited  energies  of  Nature. 

So  far,  then,  as  science  and  philosophy  go,  they  have  given  us 
both  the  material  elements  and  the  freedom  of  thought  which  are 
required  for  calling  into  life  the  reconstructive  forces  that  may  lead 
mankind  to  a  new  era  of  progress.  There  is,  however,  one  branch  of 
knowledge  which  lags  behind.  It  is  ethics.  A  system  of  ethics  worthy 
of  the  present  scientific  revival,  which  would  take  advantage  of  all  the 
recent  acquisitions  for  revising  the  very  foundations  of  morality  on  a 
wider  philosophical  basis,  and  produce  a  higher  moral  ideal,  capable  of 
giving  to  the  civilised  nations  the  inspiration  required  for  the  great 

1  Schopenhauer,  The  Foundations  of  Morals,  section  22.  All  the  paragraph  is  of 
the  greatest  beauty.  Also  Feuerbach  and  others. 


210  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  Aug. 

task  that  lies  before  them — such  a  system  has  not  yet  been  produced. 
But  it  is  called  for  on  all  sides,  with  an  emphasis  the  sense  of  which 
cannot  be  misunderstood.  A  new,  realistic  moral  science  is  the  need 
of  the  day — a  science  as  free  of  superstition,  religious  dogmatism,  and 
metaphysical  mythology  as  modern  cosmogony  and  philosophy  already 
are,  and  permeated  at  the  same  time  with  those  higher  feelings  and 
brighter  hopes  which  a  thorough  knowledge  of  man  and  his  history 
can  breathe  into  men's  breasts. 

That  such  a  science  is  possible  lies  beyond  any  reasonable  doubt. 
If  the  study  of  Nature  has  yielded  the  elements  of  a  philosophy  which 
embraces  the  life  of  the  Cosmos,  the  evolution  of  the  living  beings, 
the  laws  of  psychical  activity,  and  the  development  of  society,  it 
must  also  be  able  to  give  us  the  rational  origin  and  the  sources  of  the 
moral  feelings.  And  it  must  be  able  to  indicate  and  to  reinforce 
the  agencies  which  contribute  towards  the  gradual  rising  of  these 
feelings  to  an  always  greater  height  and  purity,  without  resorting 
for  that  purpose  to  blind  faith  or  to  religious  coercion.  If  a  closer 
acquaintance  with  Nature  was  able  to  infuse  into  the  minds  of  the 
greatest  naturalists  and  poets  of  the  nineteenth  century  that  lofty 
inspiration  which  they  found  in  the  contemplation  of  the  universe — 
if  a  look  into  Nature's  breast  made  Goethe  live  only  the  more  intensely 
in  the  face  of  the  raging  storm,  the  calm  mountains,  the  dark  forest 
and  its  inhabitants — why  should  not  a  widened  knowledge  of  man  and 
his  destinies  be  able  to  inspire  the  poet  in  the  same  way  ?  And  when 
the  poet  has  found  the  proper  expression  for  his  sense  of  communion 
with  the  Cosmos  and  his  unity  with  fellow-men,  he  becomes  capable 
of  inspiring  thousands  of  men  with  the  highest  enthusiasm.  He 
makes  them  feel  better,  and  awakens  the  desire  of  being  better  still. 
He  produces  in  them  those  very  ecstasies  which  were  formerly  con- 
sidered as  belonging  exclusively  to  the  province  of  religion.  What 
are,  indeed,  the  Psalms,  which  are  described  as  the  highest  expression 
of  religious  feeling,  or  the  more  poetical  portions  of  the  sacred  books 
of  the  East,  but  attempts  to  express  man's  ecstasy  at  the  contemplation 
of  the  universe — the  first  awakening  of  his  sense  of  the  poetry  of 
Nature  ? 

II 

The  need  of  realistic  ethics  was  felt  from  the  very  dawn  of  the 
present  scientific  revival,  when  Bacon,  at  the  same  time  as  he  laid 
the  foundations  of  the  present  advancement  of  sciences,  indicated 
also  the  main  outlines  of  empirical  ethics,  perhaps  with  less  thorough- 
ness than  this  was  done  by  his  followers,  but  with  a  width  of  con- 
ception which  was  not  much  improved  upon  in  later  days.  The  best 
thinkers  of  the  seventeenth  and  the  eighteenth  centuries  continued 
on  the  same  lines,  endeavouring  to  work  out  systems  of  ethics,  indepen- 
dent of  the  imperatives  of  religion.  Hobbes,  Locke,  Shaftesbury  and 


1904   ETHICAL   NEED   OF   THE   PRESENT  DAY    211 

Paley,  Hutcheson,  Hume,  and  Adam  Smith  boldly  attacked  the  pro- 
blem on  all  sides.  They  indicated  the  empirical  sources  of  the  moral 
sense,  and  in  their  determinations  of  the  moral  ends  they  mostly  stood 
on  the  same  empirical  ground.  They  combined  in  varied  ways  the 
'  intellectualism '  and  utilitarianism  of  Locke  with  the  '  moral  sense  ' 
and  sense  of  beauty  of  Hutcheson,  the  *  theory  of  association '  of 
Hartley,  and  the  ethics  of  feeling  of  Shaftesbury.  Speaking  of  the 
ends  of  ethics,  some  of  them  already  mentioned  the  '  harmony ' 
between  self-love  and  regard  to  fellow-men  which  took  such  a  develop- 
ment in  the  nineteenth  century,  and  considered  it  in  connection  with 
Hutcheson's  '  emotion  of  approbation,'  or  the  '  sympathy '  of  Hume 
and  Adam  Smith.  And  finally,  if  they  found  a  difficulty  in  explaining 
the  sense  of  duty  on  a  rational  basis,  they  resorted  to  the  early  influences 
of  religion,  or  to  some  inborn  sense,  or  to  some  variety  of  Hobbes' 
theory  of  law,  considered  as  the  educator  of  the  otherwise  unsociable 
primitive  savage.  The  French  Encyclopaedists  and  materialists  dis- 
cussed the  problem  on  the  same  lines,  only  insisting  more  on  self-love, 
and  trying  to  find  the  synthesis  of  the  opposed  tendencies  of  human 
nature  in  the  educational  influence  of  the  social  institutions,  which 
must  be  such  as  to  favour  the  development  of  the  better  sides  of  human 
nature.  Rousseau,  with  his  rational  religion,  stood  as  a  link  between 
the  materialists  and  the  intuitionists,  and  by  boldly  attacking  the 
social  problems  of  the  day  he  won  a  wider  hearing  than  any  one  of 
them.  On  the  other  side,  even  the  utmost  idealists,  like  Descartes 
and  his  pantheist  follower  Spinoza,  even  Leibnitz  and  the  '  tran- 
scendentalist-idealist '  Kant,  did  not  trust  entirely  to  the  revealed 
origin  of  the  moral  ideas,  and  tried  to  give  to  ethics  a  broader  founda- 
tion, even  though  they  would  not  part  entirely  with  an  extra-human 
origin  of  the  moral  law. 

The  same  endeavour  towards  finding  a  realistic  basis  for  ethics 
became  even  more  pronounced  in  the  nineteenth  century,  when 
quite  a  number  of  important  ethical  systems  were  worked  out  on  the 
different  bases  of  rational  self-love,  love  of  humanity  (Auguste  Comte, 
Littre,  and  a  great  number  of  minor  followers),  sympathy  and  intel- 
lectual identification  of  one's  personality  with  mankind  (Schopen- 
hauer), utilitarianism  (Bentham  and  Mill),  and  evolution  (Darwin, 
Spencer,  Guyau),  to  say  nothing  of  the  negative  systems,  originating 
in  La  Rochefoucauld  and  Mandeville  and  developed  by  Nietzsche  and 
several  others,  who  tried  to  establish  a  higher  moral  standard  by  their 
bold  attacks  against  the  current  half-hearted  moral  conceptions,  and 
by  a  vigorous  assertion  of  the  supreme  rights  of  the  individual. 

Two  of  the  nineteenth-century  ethical  systems — Comte's  posi- 
tivism and  Bentham's  utilitarianism — exercised,  as  is  known,  a  deep 
influence  upon  the  century's  thought,  and  the  former  impressed 
with  its  own  stamp  all  the  scientific  researches  which  make  the  glory 
of  modern  science.  They  also  gave  origin  to  a  variety  of  sub-systems, 


212  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

so  that  most  modern  writers  of  mark  in  psychology,  evolution,  or 
anthropology  have  enriched  ethical  literature  with  some  more  or  less 
original  researches,  sometimes  of  a  high  standard,  as  is  the  case  with 
Feuerbach,  Bain,  Leslie  Stephen,  Wundt,  Sidgwick,  and  several 
others.  Numbers  of  ethical  societies  were  also  started  for  a  wider 
propaganda  of  empirical  ethics.  At  the  same  time,  an  immense  move- 
ment, chiefly  economical  in  its  origins,  but  eminently  ethical  in  its 
substance,  was  born  in  the  first  half  of  the  nineteenth  century  and 
spread  very  widely  under  the  names  of  Fourierism,  Saint- Simonism, 
and  Owenism,  and  later  on  of  international  socialism  and  anarchism. 
This  movement  was  an  attempt  on  a  great  scale,  supported  by  the 
working  men  of  all  nations,  not  only  to  revise  the  very  foundations  of 
the  current  ethical  conceptions,  but  also  to  introduce  into  real  life 
the  conditions  under  which  a  new  page  in  the  ethical  life  of  mankind 
could  be  opened. 

It  would  seem,  therefore,  that  since  such  a  number  of  rationalist 
ethical  systems  have  grown  up  in  the  course  of  the  last  two  centuries, 
it  is  impossible  to  approach  the  subject  once  more  without  falling  into 
a  mere  repetition  or  a  mere  recombination  of  fragments  of  already 
advocated  schemes.  However,  the  very  fact  that  each  of  the  main 
systems  produced  in  the  nineteenth  century — the  positivism  of  Comte, 
the  utilitarianism  of  Bentham  and  Mill,  and  the  altruist  evolutionism 
of  Darwin,  Spencer,  and  Guyau — has  added  something  important  to 
the  conceptions  worked  out  by  its  predecessors  proves  that  the  matter 
is  far  yet  from  being  exhausted.  Even  if  we  take  the  last  three 
systems  only,  we  cannot  but  see  that  Spencer  failed  to  take  advantage 
of  some  of  the  hints  which  the  evolutionist  philosopher  finds  in  the 
short  but  very  suggestive  sketch  of  ethics  given  by  Darwin  in  The 
Origin  of  Man  ;  while  Guyau  introduced  into  morals  such  an  important 
element  as  that  of  an  overflow  of  energy  in  feeling,  thought,  or  will, 
which  had  not  been  taken  into  account  by  his  evolutionist  pre- 
decessors. If  every  new  system  thus  contributes  some  new  and 
valuable  element,  this  very  fact  proves  that  ethical  science  is  not  yet 
constituted.  In  fact,  it  never  will  bs,  because  new  factors  and  new 
tendencies  will  always  have  to  be  taken  into  account  in  proportion 
as  mankind  advances  in  its  mental  evolution. 

That,  at  the  same  time,  none  of  the  ethical  systems  which  were 
brought  forward  in  the  course  of  the  nineteenth  century  has  satisfied, 
be  it  only  the  educated  fraction  of  the  civilised  nations,  hardly  need  be 
insisted  upon.  To  say  nothing  of  the  numerous  philosophical  works 
in  which  dissatisfaction  with  modern  ethics  has  been  expressed,2  the 
best  proof  of  it  is  the  decided  return  to  idealism  which  we  see  in  all 
civilised  nations,  and  especially  in  France.  The  absence  of  any 
poetical  inspiration  in  the  positivism  of  Littre  and  Herbert  Spencer, 

J  Sufficient  to  name  here  the  critical  and  historical  works  of  Paulsen,  Wundt, 
Leslie  Stephen,  Guyau,  Lichtenberger,  Fouillee,  De  Roberty,  and  so  many  others. 


1904   ETHICAL   NEED   OF   THE  PRESENT  DAY    213 

and  their  incapacity  to  cope  with  the  great  problems  of  our  present 
civilisation ;  the  striking  narrowness  of  views  concerning  the  social 
problem  which  characterises  the  chief  philosopher  of  evolution, 
Spencer ;  nay,  the  repudiation  by  the  latter-day  French  positivists  of 
the  humanitarian  theories  which  distinguished  the  eighteenth- century 
Encyclopaedists — all  these  have  helped  to  create  a  strong  reaction  in 
favour  of  a  sort  of  mystico-religious  idealism.  The  ferocious  inter- 
pretation of  Darwinism,  which  was  given  to  it  by  the  most  prominent 
representatives  of  the  evolutionist  school,  without  a  word  of  protest 
coming  from  Darwin  himself  for  the  first  twelve  years  after  the  appear- 
ance of  his  Origin  of  Species,  gave  still  more  force  to  the  reaction 
against '  naturism  ' — we  are  told  by  Fouillee.  And,  as  always  happens 
with  every  reaction,  the  movement  went  far  beyond  its  original  pur- 
pose. Beginning  as  a  protest  against  some  mistakes  of  the  naturalist 
philosophy,  it  soon  became  a  campaign  against  positive  knowledge 
altogether.  The  '  failure  of  science '  was  triumphantly  announced. 
The  fact  that  science  is  revising  now  the  '  first  approximations '  con- 
cerning life,  psychical  activity,  evolution,  the  structure  of  matter, 
and  so  on,  which  were  arrived  at  in  the  years  1856-G2,  and  which  must 
be  revised  now  in  order  to  reach  the  next,  deeper  generalisations — 
successive  approximations  being  the  very  essence  of  the  history  of 
sciences — this  fact  was  taken  advantage  of  for  representing  science 
as  having  failed  in  its  attempted  solutions  of  all  the  great  problems. 
A  crusade  in  favour  of  intuitionism  and  blind  faith  was  started  accord- 
ingly. Going  back  first  to  Kant,  then  to  Schelling,  and  even  to  Lotze, 
numbers  of  writers  have  been  preaching  lately  '  spiritualism,'  '  inde- 
terminism,'  '  apriorism,'  '  personal  idealism,'  and  so  on — proclaiming 
faith  as  the  very  source  of  all  true  knowledge.  Religious  faith  itself 
was  found  insufficient.  It  is  the  mysticism  of  St.  Bernard  or  of  the 
neo-Platonians  which  is  now  in  demand.  '  Symbolism,'  '  the  subtle,* 
'  the  incomprehensible '  are  sought  for.  Even  the  belief  in  the 
mediaeval  Satan  was  resuscitated.3 

It  hardly  need  be  said  that  none  of  these  currents  of  thought  ob- 
tained a  widespread  hold  upon  the  minds  of  our  contemporaries  ;  but 
we  certainly  see  public  opinion  floating  between  the  two  extremes — 
between  a  desperate  effort,  on  the  one  side,  to  force  oneself  to  return 
to  the  obscure  creeds  of  the  Middle  Ages,  with  their  full  accompani- 
ment of  superstition,  idolatry,  and  even  magic ;  and,  on  the  opposite 
extreme,  a  glorification  of  '  a-moralism '  and  a  revival  of  that  worship 
of  '  superior  natures,'  now  invested  with  the  names  of  '  supermen '  or 
'  superior  individualisations,'  which  Europe  had  lived  through  in  the 
times  of  Byronism  and  early  Romanticism. 

It  appears,  therefore,  more  necessary  than  ever  to  see  if  the  present 

3  See  A.  Fouillee,  Le  Mouvcment  idtaliste  et  la  Reaction  contre  la  Science 
positive,  2nd  edition ;  Paul  Desjardins,  Le  Devoir  present,  which  has  gone  through 
five  editions  in  a  short  time ;  and  many  others. 


214  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

scepticism  as  to  the  claims  of  science  in  ethical  questions  is  well 
founded,  and  whether  science  does  not  contain  already  the  elements 
of  a  system  of  ethics  which,  if  it  were  properly  formulated,  would 
respond  to  the  needs  of  the  present  day. 

Ill 

The  limited  success  of  the  various  ethical  systems  which  were 
born  in  the  course  of  the  last  hundred  years  shows  that  man  cannot 
be  satisfied  with  a  mere  naturalistic  explanation  of  the  origins  of  the 
moral  instinct.  He  means  to  have  a  justification  of  it.  Simply  to 
trace  the  origin  of  our  moral  feelings,  as  we  trace  the  pedigree  of  some 
structural  feature  in  a  flower,  and  to  say  that  such-and-such  causes 
have  contributed  to  the  growth  and  refinement  of  the  moral  sense, 
is  not  enough.  Man  wants  to  have  a  criterion  for  judging  the  moral 
instinct  itself.  Whereto  does  it  lead  us  ?  Is  it  towards  a  desirable 
end,  or  towards  something  which,  as  some  critics  say,  would  only 
result  in  the  weakening  of  the  race  and  its  ultimate  decay  ?  If  struggle 
for  life  and  the  extermination  of  the  physically  weakest  is  the  law  of 
Nature,  and  represents  a  condition  of  progress,  is  not  then  the  cessation 
of  the  struggle,  and  the  '  industrial  state '  which  Comte  and  Spencer 
promise  us,  the  very  beginning  of  the  decay  of  the  human  race — as 
Nietzsche  has  so  forcibly  concluded  ?  And  if  such  an  end  is  un- 
desirable, must  we  not  proceed,  indeed,  to  a  re-valuation  of  all  those 
moral  *  values '  which  tend  to  reduce  the  struggle,  or  to  render  it  less 
painful  ?  The  main  problem  of  modern  realistic  ethics  is  thus,  as 
has  been  remarked  by  Wundt  in  his  Ethics,4  to  determine,  first  of  all, 
the  moral  end  in  view.  But  this  end  or  ends,  however  ideal  they  may 
be,  and  however  remote  their  full  realisation,  must  belong  to  the 
world  of  realities.  They  must  be  born  out  of  it,  and  remain  accessible 
to  our  senses,  because  modern  man  will  not  be  taken  in  by  mere  words 
or  by  a  metaphysical  substantiation  of  his  own  desires.  The  end  of 
morals  cannot  be  '  transcendental,'  as  the  idealists  desire  it  to  be :  it 
must  be  real. 

When  Darwin  threw  into  circulation  the  idea  of  '  struggle  for 
existence,'  and  represented  this  struggle  as  the  mainspring  of  progres- 
sive evolution,  he  agitated  once  more  the  great  old  question  as  to  the 
moral  or  immoral  aspects  of  Nature.  The  origin  of  the  conceptions 
of  good  and  evil,  which  had  exercised  the  best  minds  since  the  times 
of  the  Zend  Avesta,  was  brought  once  more  under  discussion  with  a 
renewed  vigour,  and  with  a  greater  depth  of  conception  than  ever. 
Nature  was  represented  by  the  Darwinists  as  an  immense  battlefield 
upon  which  one  sees  nothing  but  an  incessant  struggle  for  life  and  an 

4  W.  Wundt,  Ethics,  English  translation  in  three  volumes,  by  Professor  Titchener, 
Prof.  Julia  Gulliver,  and  Prof.  Margaret  Washburn,  New  York  and  London  (Swan 
Sonnenschein),  1897. 


extermination  of  the  weak  ones  by  the  strongest,  the  swiftest,  and  the 
cunningest :  evil  was  the  only  lesson  which  man  could  get  from  Nature. 
These  ideas,  as  is  known,  became  very  widely  spread.  But  if  they  are 
true  the  evolutionist  philosopher  has  to  solve  a  deep  contradiction, 
which  he  himself  has  introduced  into  his  philosophy.  He  cannot 
deny  that  man  is  possessed  of  a  higher  conception  of  '  good/  and  that 
a  faith  in  the  gradual  triumph  of  the  good  principle  is  deeply  seated  in 
human  nature,  and  he  has  to  explain  this  conception  and  this  faith. 
He  cannot  be  lulled  into  indifference  by  the  Epicurean  hope,  expressed 
by  Tennyson — that  '  somehow  good  will  be  the  final  goal  of  ill.'  Nor 
can  he  represent  to  himself  Nature,  '  red  in  tooth  and  claw,'  at  strife 
everywhere  with  the  good  principle — the  very  negation  of  it  in  every 
living  being — and  yet  this  good  principle  triumphant  in  the  long  run. 
He  must  explain  this  contradiction.  But  if  he  maintains  that  the 
only  lesson  which  Nature  gives  to  man  is  one  of  evil,  then  he  neces- 
sarily has  to  admit  the  existence  of  some  other,  extra-natural,  or 
supra-natural  influence  which  inspires  man  with  conceptions  of 
'  supreme  good,'  and  guides  human  development  towards  a  higher 
goal.  And  in  this  way  he  nullifies  his  own  attempt  at  explaining 
evolution  by  the  action  of  natural  forces  only. 

In  reality,  however,  things  do  not  stand  so  badly  as  that  for  the 
theory  of  evolution.  The  above  interpretation  of  Nature  is  not 
supported  by  fact.  It  is  incomplete,  one-sided,  and  consequently 
wrong,  and  Darwin  himself  indicated  the  other  aspect  of  Nature  in 
a  special  chapter  of  The  Origin  of  Man.  There  is,  he  pointed  out,  in 
Nature  itself,  another  set  of  facts,  parallel  to  those  of  mutual  struggle, 
but  having  a  quite  different  meaning :  the  facts  of  mutual  support 
within  the  species,  which  are  even  more  important  than  the  former, 
on  account  of  their  significance  for  the  welfare  of  the  species  and  its 
maintenance.  This  extremely  important  idea,  to  which,  however, 
most  Darwinists  paid  but  little  attention,  I  attempted  further  to 
develop  a  few  years  ago,  in  a  series  of  essays  originally  published  in 
this  Review,  and  in  which  I  endeavoured  to  bring  into  evidence  the 
immense  importance  of  Mutual  Aid  for  the  preservation  of  both  the 
animal  species  and  the  human  race,  and  still  more  so  for  progressive 
evolution.5  Without  trying  to  minimise  the  fact  that  an  immense 
number  of  animals  live  either  upon  species  belonging  to  some  lower 
division  of  the  animal  kingdom,  or  upon  some  smaller  species  of  the 
same  class  as  themselves,  I  indicated  that  warfare  in  Nature  is  chiefly 
limited  to  struggle  between  different  species ;  but  that  within  each 
species,  and  within  the  groups  of  different  species  which  we  find 
living  together,  the  practice  of  mutual  aid  is  the  rule,  and  therefore 
this  last  aspect  of  animal  life  plays  a  far  greater  part  in  the  economy 
of  Nature  than  warfare.  It  is  more  general,  not  only  on  account  of 

5  Nineteenth  Century,  1890,  1891,  1892,  1894,  and  1896 ;  Mutual  Aid :  A  Factor 
of  Evolution,  London  (Heinemana),  2nd  edition,  1904. 


216  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

the  immense  numbers  of  sociable  species,  such  as  the  ruminants, 
many  rodents,  many  birds,  the  ants,  the  bees,  and  so  on,  which  do 
not  prey  at  all  upon  other  animals,  and  the  overwhelming  numbers  of 
individuals  which  all  sociable  species  contain,  but  also  because  nearly 
all  carnivorous  and  rapacious  species,  and  especially  those  of  them 
which  are  not  in  decay  owing  to  a  rapid  extermination  by  man  or  to 
some  other  cause,  also  practise  it  to  some  extent. 

If  mutual  support  is  so  general  in  Nature,  it  is  because  it  offers 
such  immense  advantages  to  all  those  animals  which  practise  it  best 
that  it  entirely  upsets  the  balance  of  benefits  which  otherwise  might 
be  derived  from  a  superior  development  of  beak  and  claw.  It  repre- 
sents the  best  arm  in  the  great  struggle  for  life  which  continually  has 
to  be  carried  on  in  Nature  against  climate,  inundations,  storms,  frost, 
and  the  like,  and  continually  requires  new  adaptations  to  the  ever- 
changing  conditions  of  existence.  Therefore,  taken  as  a  whole, 
Nature  is  by  no  means  an  illustration  of  the  triumph  of  physical 
force,  swiftness,  cunningness,  or  any  other  feature  useful  in  warfare. 
It  teems,  on  the  contrary,  with  species  decidedly  weak,  badly  pro- 
tected, and  all  but  warlike — such  as  the  ant,  the  bee,  the  pigeon,  the 
duck,  the  marmot,  the  gazelle,  and  so  on — which,  nevertheless, 
succeed  best  in  the  struggle  for  life,  and,  owing  to  their  sociability  and 
mutual  protection,  even  displace  much  more  powerfully-built  com- 
petitors and  enemies.  And,  finally,  we  can  take  it  as  proved  that  while 
struggle  for  life  leads  indifferently  to  both  progressive  and  regressive 
evolution,  the  practice  of  mutual  aid  is  the  agency  which  always 
leads  to  progressive  development.  It  is  the  main  factor  of  progressive 
evolution. 

Being  thus  necessary  for  the  preservation,  the  welfare,  and  the 
progressive  development  of  every  species,  the  mutual  aid  instinct 
has  become  what  Darwin  described  as  '  a  permanent  instinct,'  which 
is  always  at  work  in  all  sociable  animals,  and  especially  in  man.  Having 
its  origin  at  the  very  beginnings  of  the  evolution  of  the  animal  world, 
it  is  certainly  an  instinct  as  deeply  seated  in  animals,  low  and  high, 
as  the  instinct  of  maternal  love ;  perhaps  even  deeper,  because  it  is 
present  in  such  animals  as  the  molluscs,  some  insects,  and  most 
fishes,  which  hardly  possess  the  maternal  instinct  at  all.  Darwin 
was  therefore  quite  right  in  considering  that  the  instinct  of  '  mutual 
sympathy '  is  more  permanently  at  work  in  the  sociable  animals 
than  even  the  purely  egotistic  instinct  of  direct  self-preservation. 
He  saw  in  it,  as  is  known,  the  rudiments  of  the  moral  conscience. 

But  this  is  not  all.  In  the  same  instinct  we  have  the  origin  of 
those  feelings  of  benevolence  and  of  that  partial  identification  of  the 
individual  with  the  group  which  become  the  starting-point  of  all  the 
higher  ethical  feelings.  It  is  upon  this  foundation  that  the  higher 
sense  of  justice,  or  equity,  is  developed.  When  we  see  that  scores  of 
thousands  of  different  aquatic  birds  come  together  for  nesting  on  the 


1904     ETHICAL   NEED    OF   THE  PRESENT  DAY  217 

ledges  of  the  '  birds'  mountains,'  without  fighting  for  the  best  positions 
on  these  ledges  ;  that  several  flocks  of  pelicans  will  keep  by  the  side  of 
each  other  in  their  separate  fishing  grounds ;  and  that  hundreds  of  species 
of  birds  and  mammals  come  in  some  way  to  a  certain  arrangement 
concerning  their  feeding  areas,  their  nesting  places,  their  night  quarters, 
and  their  hunting  grounds,  and  respect  these  arrangements,  instead  of 
continually  fighting  for  upsetting  them  ;  or  when  we  see  that  a  young 
bird  which  has  stolen  some  straw  from  another  bird's  nest  is  attacked 
by  all  the  birds  of  the  same  colony,  we  catch  on  the  spot  the  very 
origin  and  the  growth  of  the  sense  of  equity  and  justice  in  the  animal 
societies.  And  finally,  in  proportion  as  we  advance  in  every  class  of 
animals  towards  the  higher  representatives  of  that  class  (the  ants, 
the  wasps,  and  the  bees  amongst  the  insects,  the  cranes  and  the 
parrots  amongst  the  birds,  the  higher  ruminants,  the  apes  and  man 
amongst  the  mammals),  we  find  that  the  identification  of  the  individual 
with  the  interests  of  his  group,  and  eventually  sacrifice  for  it,  grow  in 
proportion — thus  revealing  to  us  the  origin  of  the  higher  ethical 
feelings.  It  thus  appears  that  not  only  Nature  does  not  give  us  a 
lesson  of  a-moralism,  which  need  be  corrected  by  some  extra-natural 
influence,  but  we  are  bound  to  recognise  that  the  very  ideas  of  bad  and 
good,  and  man's  abstractions  concerning  '  the  supreme  good  '  and  '  the 
lowest  evil,'  have  been  borrowed  from  Nature.  They  are  reflections 
in  the  mind  of  man  of  what  he  saw  in  Nature,  and  these  impressions 
were  developed  during  his  life  in  society  into  conceptions  of  right  and 
wrong.  However,  they  are  not  merely  subjective  appreciations. 
They  contain  the  fundamental  principles  of  equity  and  mutual  sym- 
pathy, which  apply  to  all  sentient  beings,  just  as  mechanical  truths 
derived  from  observation  on  the  surface  of  the  earth  apply  to  matter 
everywhere  in  the  stellar  spaces. 

It  is  self-evident  that  a  similar  conception  must  also  apply  to  the 
evolution  of  the  human  character  and  human  institutions.  True 
that  up  to  the  present  time  the  history  of  mankind,  notwithstanding 
the  extreme  wealth  of  materials  accumulated  lately,  has  not  been 
told  as  the  development  of  some  fundamental  ethical  tendency. 
But  it  is  already  possible  now  to  conceive  it  as  the  evolution  of 
an  ethical  factor  which  consists,  as  I  have  tried  to  prove,  in  the 
ever-present  tendency  of  men  to  organise  the  relations  within  the  tribe, 
the  village  community,  the  commonwealth,  on  the  bases  of  mutual 
aid ;  these  forms  of  social  organisation  becoming  in  turn  the  bases  of 
further  progress.  We  certainly  must  abandon  the  idea  of  repre- 
senting human  history  as  an  uninterrupted  chain  of  development 
from  the  pre-historic  Stone  Age  to  the  present  time.  Just  as  in 
the  evolution  of  the  animal  series  we  consider  the  insects,  the 
birds,  the  fishes,  the  mammals,  as  separate  lines  of  development,  so 
also  in  human  history  we  must  admit  that  evolution  was  started 
several  times  anew— in  India,  Egypt,  Mesopotamia,  Greece,  Rome, 


218  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  Aug< 

and  finally  in  Western  Europe,  beginning  each  time  with  the  primitive 
tribe  and  the  village  community.  But  if  we  consider  each  of  these 
lines  separately,  we  certainly  find  in  each  of  them,  and  especially  in 
the  development  of  Europe  since  the  fall  of  the  Roman  Empire,  a 
continual  widening  of  the  conception  of  mutual  support  and  mutual 
protection,  from  the  clan  to  the  tribe,  the  nation,  and  finally  to  the 
international  union  of  nations.  And,  on  the  other  side,  notwithstand- 
ing the  temporary  regressive  movements  which  occasionally  take 
place,  even  in  the  most  civilised  nations,  there  is — at  least  among  the 
representatives  of  advanced  thought  in  the  civilised  world  and  in  the 
progressive  popular  movements — the  tendency  of  always  widening 
the  current  conception  of  human  solidarity  and  justice,  and  of  con- 
stantly refining  the  character  of  our  mutual  relations,  as  well  as  the 
ideal  of  what  is  desirable  in  this  respect.  The  very  fact  that  the 
backward  movements  which  take  place  from  time  to  time  are  con- 
sidered by  the  enlightened  portion  of  the  population  as  mere  temporary 
illnesses  of  the  social  organism,  the  return  of  which  must  be  prevented 
in  the  future,  proves  that  the  average  ethical  standard  is  now  higher 
than  it  was  in  the  past.  And  in  proportion  as  the  means  of  satisfying 
the  needs  of  all  the  members  of  the  civilised  communities  are  improved, 
and  room  is  prepared  for  a  still  higher  conception  of  justice  for  all, 
the  ethical  standard  is  bound  to  become  more  and  more  refined. 
In  scientific  ethics  man  is  thus  in  a  position  not  only  to  reaffirm  his 
faith  in  moral  progress,  which  he  obstinately  retains,  notwithstanding 
all  pessimistic  lessons  to  the  contrary,  he  sees  that  this  belief, 
although  it  had  only  originated  in  one  of  those  artistic  intuitions 
which  always  precede  science,  was  quite  correct,  and  is  confirmed  now 
by  positive  knowledge. 

IV 

If  the  empirical  philosophers  have  hitherto  failed  to  state  this 
steady  progress  which,  speaking  metaphorically,  we  can  describe  as 
the  leading  principle  of  evolution,  the  fault  lies  to  a  great  extent  with 
our  predecessors,  the  speculative  philosophers.  They  have  so  much 
denied  the  empirical  origin  of  man's  moral  feelings ;  they  have  gone 
into  such  subtle  reasonings  in  order  to  assign  a  supernatural  origin  to 
the  moral  sense ;  and  they  have  so  much  spoken  about  '  the  destina- 
tion of  man,'  the  '  why  of  his  existence,'  and  '  the  aim  of  Nature,' 
that  a  reaction  against  the  mythological  and  metaphysical  conceptions 
which  had  risen  round  this  question  was  unavoidable.  Moreover,  the 
modern  evolutionists,  having  established  the  wide  part  which  certainly 
pertains  in  the  animal  world  to  a  keen  struggle  between  different 
species,  could  not  accept  that  such  a  brutal  process,  which  entails  so 
much  suffering  upon  sentient  beings,  should  be  the  unravelling  of  a 
superior  plan  ;  and  they  consequently  denied  that  any  ethical  principle 


1904     ETHICAL   NEED   OF   THE   PRESENT  DAY  219 

could  be  discovered  in  it.  Only  now  that  the  evolution  of  species, 
races  of  men,  human  institutions,  and  ethical  ideas  has  been  proved  to 
be  the  result  of  natural  forces,  has  it  become  possible  to  study  all  the 
factors  which  were  at  work,  including  the  ethical  factor  of  mutual 
support  and  growing  sympathy,  without  the  risk  of  falling  back  into  a 
supra-natural  philosophy.  But,  this  being  so,  we  reach  a  point  of 
considerable  philosophical  importance. 

We  are  enabled  to  conclude  that  the  lesson  which  man  derives 
both  from  the  study  of  Nature  and  his  own  history  is  the  permanent 
presence  of  a  double  tendency — towards  a  greater  development,  on 
the  one  side,  of  sociability,  and,  on  the  other  side,  of  a  consequent 
increase  of  the  intensity  of  life,  which  results  in  an  increase  of  happiness 
for  the  individuals,  and  in  progress — physical,  intellectual,  and  moral. 
This  double  tendency  is  a  distinctive  characteristic  of  life  altogether. 
It  is  always  present,  and  belongs  to  life,  as  one  of  its  attributes, 
whatever  aspects  life  may  take  on  our  planet  or  elsewhere.  And  this 
is  not  a  metaphysical  assertion,  or  a  mere  supposition.  It  is  an 
empirically  discovered  law  of  Nature.  It  thus  appears  that  science, 
far  from  destroying  the  foundations  of  ethics — as  it  is  so  often 
accused  of  doing — gives,  on  the  contrary,  a  concrete  content  to  the 
nebulous  metaphysical  presumptions  which  were  current  in  transcen- 
dental ethics.  As  it  goes  deeper  into  the  life  of  Nature,  it  gives  to 
evolutionist  ethics  a  philosophical  certitude,  where  the  transcendental 
thinker  had  only  a  vague  intuition  to  rely  upon. 

There  is  still  less  foundation  in  another  continually  repeated 
reproach — namely,  that  the  study  of  Nature  can  only  lead  us  to 
recognise  some  cold  mathematical  truth,  but  that  such  truths  have 
little  effect  upon  our  actions.  The  study  of  Nature,  we  are  told,  can 
at  the  best  inspire  us  with  the  love  of  truth ;  but  the  inspiration  for 
higher  emotions,  such  as  that  of  '  infinite  goodness,'  must  be  sought 
for  in  some  other  source,  which  can  only  be  religion.  So  we  are  told, 
at  least ;  but,  to  begin  with,  love  of  truth  is  already  one  half — :the  better 
half — of  all  ethical  teaching.  As  to  the  conception  of  good  and  the 
admiration  for  it,  the  '  truth  '  which  we  have  just  mentioned  is  certainly 
an  inspiring  truth,  of  which  Goethe,  with  the  insight  of  his  pantheistic 
genius,  had  already  guessed  the  philosophical  value,6  and  which 
certainly  will  some  day  find  its  expression  in  the  poetry  of  Nature  and 
give  it  an  additional  humanitarian  touch.  Moreover,  the  deeper  we 
go  into  the  study  of  the  primitive  man,  the  more  we  realise  that  it 
was  from  the  life  of  animals  with  whom  he  stood  in  close  contact, 
even  more  than  from  his  own  congeners,  that  he  learned  the  first 
lessons  of  valour,  self-sacrifice  for  the  welfare  of  the  group,  unlimited 
parental  love,  and  the  advantages  of  sociability  altogether.  The  con- 
ceptions of  '  virtue '  and  '  wickedness '  are  zoological,  not  merely 
human  conceptions.  As  to  the  powers  which  ideas  and  intellectually 

*  Eckermann,  Ge.iprii-ch«,  1848,  vol.  iii.  219,  221. 


220  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Au* 

o 

conceived  ideals  exercise  upon  the  current  moral  conceptions,  and 
how  these  conceptions  influence  in  their  turn  the  intellectual  aspect 
of  an  epoch,  this  subject  hardly  need  be  insisted  upon.  The  intel- 
lectual evolution  of  a  given  society  may  take  at  times,  under  the 
influence  of  all  sorts  of  circumstances,  a  totally  wrong  turn,  or  it  may 
take,  on  the  contrary,  a  high  flight.  But  in  both  cases  the  leading 
ideas  of  the  time  will  never  fail  deeply  to  influence  the  ethical  life. 
The  same  applies  to  a  great  extent  to  the  individual.  Most  certainly, 
ideas  are  forces,  as  Fouillee  puts  it ;  and  they  are  ethical  forces,  if  the 
ideas  are  correct  and  wide  enough  to  represent  the  real  life  of  Nature — • 
not  one  of  its  sides  only.  The  first  step,  therefore,  towards  the  elabora- 
tion of  a  morality  which  should  exercise  a  lasting  influence  is  to  base 
it  upon  an  ascertained  truth ;  and  this  is  so  much  so,  that  one  of  the 
main  causes  opposed  now  to  the  appearance  of  a  complete  ethical 
system,  corresponding  to  the  present  needs,  is  the  fact  that  the  science 
of  society  is  still  in  its  infancy.  Having  just  completed  its  storing  of 
materials,  sociology  is  only  beginning  to  investigate  them  with  the 
view  to  ascertaining  the  probable  lines  of  a  future  development. 

The  chief  demand  which  is  addressed  now  to  ethics  is  to  do  its  best 
to  find  in  philosophy,  and   thus   to   help   mankind   to   find   in   its 
institutions,  a  synthesis — not  a  compromise — between  the  two  sets  of 
feelings  which  exist  in  man :  those  which  induce  him  to  subdue  other 
men,  in  order  to  utilise  them  for  his  individual  ends,  and  those  which 
induce  human  beings  to  unite  and  to  combine  for  attaining  common 
ends  by  common  effort :  the  first  answering  to  that  fundamental 
need  of  human  nature — struggle,  and  the  second  representing  another 
equally  fundamental  tendency — the  desire  of  union  and  sympathy. 
Such  a  synthesis  is  of  absolute  necessity,  because  the  civilised  man  of 
to-day,  having  no  settled  conviction  on  this  point,  is  paralysed  in 
his  powers  of  action.    He  cannot  admit  that  a  struggle  to  the  knife 
for  supremacy,  carried  on  between  individuals  and  nations,   should 
be  the  last  word  of  science  ;  he  does  not  believe,  at  the  same  time,  in 
the  solution  of  brotherhood  and  resigned  self-abnegation  which  Chris- 
tianity has  offered  us  for  so  many  centuries,  but  upon  which  it  has 
failed  to  establish  a  commonwealth ;  and  he  has  no  faith  either  in  the 
solution  offered  by  the  communists.  To  settle,  then,  these  doubts,  and 
to  aid  mankind  in  finding  the  synthesis  between  the  two  leading 
tendencies  of  human  nature,  is  the  chief  duty  of  ethics.    For  this 
purpose  we  have  earnestly  to  study  what  were  the  means  resorted  to 
by  men  at  different  periods  of  their  evolution,  in  order  so  to  direct 
the  individual  forces  as  to  get  from  them  the  greatest  benefit  for  the 
welfare  of  all,  without  paralysing  them.    And  we  have  to  define  the 
tendencies  in  this   direction  which  exist  at  the  present  moment — 
the  rough  sketches,  the  timid  attempts  which  are  being  made,  or  even 
the  potentialities  concealed  in  modern  society,  which  may  be  utilised 
for  finding  that  synthesis.    And  then,  as  no  new  move  in  civilisation 


1904    ETHICAL   NEED   OF   THE   PRESENT  DAY    221 

has  ever  been  made  without  a  certain  enthusiasm  being  evoked  in 
order  to  overcome  the  first  difficulties  of  inertia  and  opposition,  it  is 
the  duty  of  the  new  ethics  to  infuse  in  men  those  ideals  which 
would  move  them,  provoke  their  enthusiasm,  and  give  them  the 
necessary  forces  for  accomplishing  that  synthesis  in  real  life. 

This  brings  us  to  the  chief  reproach  which  has  always  been  made 
for  the  last  two  hundred  years  to  all  empirical  systems  of  ethics.  Their 
conclusions,  we  are  told,  will  never  have  the  necessary  authority  for 
influencing  the  actions  of  men,  because  they  cannot  be  invested  with 
the  sense  of  duty,  of  obligation.  It  must  be  understood,  of  course, 
that  empirical  morality  has  never  claimed  to  possess  the  imperative 
character  which  belongs  to  prescriptions  that  are  placed  under  the 
sanction  of  religious  awe,  and  of  which  we  have  the  prototype  in  the 
Mosaic  Decalogue.  True,  that  Kant  thought  of  his  '  categorical 
imperative '  ('  so  act  that  the  maxim  of  thy  will  might  serve  at  the 
same  time  as  a  principle  of  universal  legislation  ')  that  it  required  no 
sanction  whatever  for  being  universally  recognised  as  obligatory ;  it 
was,  he  maintained,  a  necessary  form  of  reasoning,  a  '  category '  of 
our  intellect,  and  it  was  deduced  from  no  utilitarian  considerations. 
However,  modern  criticism,  beginning  with  Schopenhauer,  has  shown 
that  this  was  an  illusion.  Kant  has  certainly  failed  to  prove  why  it 
should  be  a  duty  to  follow  his  injunction.  And,  strange  to  say,  the 
only  reason  why  his  '  imperative '  might  recommend  itself  to  general 
acceptance  is  still  its  eudaemonistic  character,  its  social  utility,  although 
some  of  the  best  pages  which  Kant  wrote  were  precisely  those  in  which 
he  strongly  objected  to  any  considerations  of  utility  being  taken  as  the 
foundation  of  morality.  After  all,  he  produced  a  beautiful  panegyrip 
of  the  sense  of  duty,  but  he  failed  to  give  to  this  sense  any  other 
foundation  than  the  inner  conscience  of  man  and  his  desire  of  retaining 
a  unity  between  his  intellectual  conceptions  and  his  actions. 

Empirical  morality  does  not  claim  anything  more.  It  does  not 
pretend  in  the  least  to  find  a  substitute  for  the  religious  imperative 
expressed  in  the  words  '  I  am  the  Lord.'  But  it  must  also  be  said  in 
justification  that  the  painful  discrepancy  which  exists  between  the 
ethical  prescriptions  of  the  Christian  religion  and  the  life  of  societies 
professing  to  belong  to  it — a  contradiction  which  surely  shows  no  signs 
of  abatement — and,  on  the  other  side,  the  criticism  that  has  been 
made  so  successfully  since  the  times  of  the  Reform,  concerning  the 
efficiency  of  morality  based  upon  fear,  have  deprived  the  above 
reproach  of  its  value.  However,  even  empirical  morality  is  not  entirely 
devoid  of  a  sense  of  conditional  obligation.  The  different  feelings 
and  actions  which  are  usually  described  since  the  times  of  Auguste 
Comte  as  '  altruistic '  can  easily  be  classed  under  two  different  headings. 
There  are  actions  which  may  be  considered  as  absolutely  necessary, 
once  we  choose  to  live  in  society,  and  to  which,  therefore,  the  name  of 
'  altruistic '  ought  never  to  be  applied :  they  bear  the  character  of 

VOL.  LVI — No.  330  Q, 


222  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

reciprocity,  and  they  are  as  much  in  the  interest  of  the  individual  as 
any  act  of  self-preservation.  And  there  are,  on  the  other  hand,  those 
actions  which  bear  no  character  of  reciprocity,  and  which,  although 
they  are  the  real  mainsprings  of  moral  progress,  can  certainly  have  no 
character  of  obligation  attached  to  them.  A  great  deal  of  confusion 
arises  from  not  having  sufficiently  kept  in  view  this  fundamental 
distinction ;  but  this  confusion  can  easily  be  got  rid  of. 

Altogether  it  is  quite  evident  that  the  functions  of  ethics  are  different 
from  those  of  law.  Moral  science  does  not  even  settle  the  question 
whether  legislation  is  necessary  or  not.  It  stands  above  that.  It 
soars  on  a  higher  level.  We  know,  indeed,  ethical  writers — and  these 
were  not  the  least  influential  in  the  early  beginnings  of  the  Reform 
movement — who  denied  the  necessity  of  any  legislation  and  appealed 
directly  to  human  conscience.  The  function  of  ethics  is  not  even  so  much 
to  insist  upon  the  defects  of  man,  and  to  reproach  him  with  his  '  sins,' 
as  to  act  in  the  positive  direction,  by  appealing  to  man's  best  instincts. 
It  determines,  of  course,  or  rather  it  sums  up,  the  few  fundamental 
principles  without  which  neither  animals  nor  men  could  live  in  societies; 
but  then  it  appeals  to  something  superior  to  that :  to  love,  courage, 
fraternity,  self-respect,  concordance  with  one's  ideal.  It  tells  to  man, 
that  if  he  desires  to  have  a  life  in  which  all  his  forces,  physical,  intellec- 
tual, and  emotional,  should  find  a  full  exercise,  he  must  once  and  for 
ever  abandon  the  idea  that  such  a  life  is  attainable  on  the  path  of  dis- 
regard for  others.  It  is  only  through  establishing  a  certain  har- 
mony between  the  individual  and  all  others  that  an  approach  to  such 
complete  life  will  be  possible ;  and  it  adds  :  '  Look  at  Nature  itself  ! 
Study  the  past  of  mankind  !  They  will  prove  to  you  that  so  it  is  in 
reality.'  And  when  the  individual,  for  this  or  that  reason,  hesitates 
in  some  special  case  as  to  the  best  course  to  follow,  ethics  comes  to 
his  aid  and  indicates  how  he  would  like  himself  to  act,  if  he  placed 
himself  in  the  place  of  those  whom  he  is  going  to  harm.7  But  even 
then  true  ethics  does  not  trace  a  stiff  line  of  conduct,  because  it  is 
the  individual  himself  who  must  weigh  the  relative  value  of  the  different 
motives  affecting  him.  There  is  no  use  to  recommend  risk  to  one  who 
can  stand  no  reverse,  or  to  speak  of  an  old  man's  prudence  to  the 
young  man  full  of  energy.  He  would  give  the  reply — the  profoundly 
true  and  beautiful  reply  which  Egmont  gives  to  old  Count  Oliva's 
advice  in  Goethe's  drama — and  he  would  be  quite  right :  '  As  if 
spurred  by  unseen  spirits,  the  sunhorses  of  time  run  with  the  light  cart 
of  our  fate  ;  and  there  remains  to  us  only  boldly  to  hold  the  reins 
and  lead  the  wheels  away — here,  from  a  stone  on  our  left,  there 
from  upsetting  the  cart  on  our  right.  Whereto  does  it  run  ?  Who 
knows  ?  Can  we  only  remember  wherefrom  we  came  ?  '  '  The 

7  '  It  will  not  tell  him,  "  This  you  must  do,"  but  inquire  with  him,  "  What  is  it 
that  you  will,  in  reality  and  definitively — not  only  in  a  momentary  mood  ?  "  ' 
(F.  Paulsen,  System  der  Ethik,  2  vols.,  Berlin  1896,  vol.  i.  p.  20.) 


1904     ETHICAL   NEED   OF  THE  PRESENT  DAY  223 

flower  must  bloom,'  as  Guyau  says,8  even  though  its  blooming  meant 
death. 

And  yet  the  main  purpose  of  ethics  is  not  to  advise  men  separately. 
It  is  rather  to  set  before  them,  as  a  whole,  a  higher  purpose,  an  ideal 
which,  better  than  any  advice,  would  make  them  act  instinctively 
in  the  proper  direction.  Just  as  the  aim  of  intellectual  education 
is  to  accustom  us  to  perform  an  enormous  number  of  mental  opera- 
tions almost  unconsciously,  so  is  the  aim  of  ethics  to  create  such  an 
atmosphere  in  society  as  would  produce  in  the  great  number, 
entirely  by  impulse,  those  actions  which  best  lead  to  the  welfare  of 
all  and  the  fullest  happiness  of  every  separate  being.  This  is  the 
final  aim  of  morality ;  but  to  reach  it  we  must  free  our  morality  of 
the  self-contradictions  which  it  contains.  A  morality  of  charity, 
compassion,  and  pity  necessarily  breeds  a  deadly  contradiction.  It 
starts  with  the  assertion  of  full  equity  and  justice,  or  of  full  brother- 
hood. But  then  it  adds  that  we  need  not  worry  our  minds  with  either. 
The  one  is  unattainable.  As  to  the  brotherhood  of  men,  which  is  the 
fundamental  principle  of  all  religions,  it  must  not  be  taken  too  closely 
a  la  lettre  :  that  was  a  mere  fafon  de  parler  of  enthusiastic  preachers. 
'  Inequality  is  the  rule  of  Nature,'  we  are  told  by  religious  people, 
and  with  regard  to  this  special  lesson  Nature,  not  religion,  is  the  proper 
teacher.  But  when  the  inequalities  in  the  modes  of  living  of  men 
become  too  striking,  and  the  sum  total  of  produced  wealth  is  so  divided 
as  to  result  in  the  most  abject  misery  for  a  very  great  number,  then 
compassion  for  the  poor,  and  sharing  with  them  what  can  be  shared 
without  parting  with  one's  privileged  position,  becomes  a  holy  duty. 
Such  a  morality  may  certainly  be  prevalent  in  a  society  for  a  time, 
or  even  for  a  long  time,  if  it  has  the  sanction  of  religion  interpreted 
by  the  reigning  Church.  But  the  moment  that  man  begins  to  consider 
the  prescriptions  of  religion  with  a  critical  eye,  and  requires  a  reasoned 
conviction  instead  of  mere  obedience  and  fear,  an  inner  contradiction 
of  this  sort  cannot  be  retained  any  longer.  It  must  be  abandoned — 
the  sooner  the  better.  Inner  contradiction  is  the  death- sentence  of 
all  ethics. 


A  most  important  condition  which  modern  morality  is  bound  to 
satisfy  is  that  it  must  not  aim  at  fettering  the  powers  of  action  of  the 
individual,  be  it  for  so  high  a  purpose  as  the  welfare  of  the  common- 
wealth or  even  the  species.  Wundt,  in  his  excellent  review  of  the 
ethical  systems,  makes  the  remark  that  from  the  eighteenth-century 
period  of  enlightenment  they  became,  nearly  all  of  them,  individualistic. 
This  is,  however,  true  but  to  some  extent,  because  the  rights  of  the 
individual  were  asserted  with  great  energy  in  one  domain  only — in 

8  M.  Guyau,  A  Sketch  of  Morality  independent  of  Obligation  or  Sanction,  trans, 
by  Gertrude  Kapteyn,  London  (Watts),  1898. 

Q  2 


224  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  Aug. 

economics.  And  even  here  individual  freedom  remained,  both  in 
theory  and  in  practice,  more  illusory  than  real.  As  to  the  other 
domains — political,  intellectual,  artistic — it  may  be  said  that  in 
proportion  as  economical  individualism  was  asserted  with  more 
emphasis,  the  subjection  of  the  individual — to  the  war  machinery 
of  the  State,  the  system  of  education,  the  intellectual  atmosphere 
required  for  the  support  of  the  existing  institutions,  and  so  on — was 
steadily  growing.  Even  most  of  the  advanced  reformers  of  the  present 
day,  in  their  forecasts  of  the  future,  reason  under  the  presumption 
of  a  still  greater  absorption  of  the  individual  by  the  society  to  which 
he  will  belong.  This  tendency  necessarily  provoked  a  revolt,  to  which 
Godwin  at  the  beginning  of  the  century,  and  Spencer  towards  its 
end,  already  gave  expression,  and  which  brought  Nietzsche  to  conclude 
that  all  morality  must  be  thrown  overboard  if  it  can  find  no  better 
foundation  than  the  sacrifice  of  the  individual  in  the  interests  of  the 
race.  This  revolt  is  perhaps  the  most  characteristic  feature  of  our 
epoch,  the  more  so  as  its  mainspring  is  not  so  much  in  an  egoistic 
striving  after  economical  independence  (as  was  the  case  with  the 
eighteenth- century  individualists,  with  the  exception  of  Godwin) 
as  in  a  passionate  desire  of  intellectual  freedom  for  working  out  a  new, 
better  form  of  society,  in  which  the  welfare  of  all  would  become  a 
groundwork  for  the  fullest  development  of  the  personality.9 

The  want  of  development  of  the  personality  and  the  lack  of  indi- 
vidual creative  power  and  initiative  are  certainly  one  of  the  chief 
drawbacks  of  the  present  period.  Economical  individualism  has 
not  kept  its  promise  :  it  did  not  result  in  any  striking  development 
of  individuality.  As  of  yore,  sociological  creation  is  extremely  slow, 
and  imitation  remains  the  chief  means  for  spreading  progressive 
innovations  in  mankind.  Modern  nations  repeat  the  history  of  the 
barbarian  tribes  and  the  mediaeval  cities  when  they  reproduced  one 
after  the  other,  in  a  thousand  copies,  the  same  political,  religious,  and 
economical  movements.  Whole  nations  have  appropriated  to  them- 
selves lately,  with  an  astounding  rapidity,  the  results  of  the  West 
European  industrial  and  military  civilisation ;  and  in  these  unrevised 
new  editions  of  old  types  we  see  best  how  superficial  that  civilisa- 
tion is,  how  much  of  it  is  mere  imitation.  It  is  only  natural,  therefore, 
to  ask  ourselves  whether  the  current  moral  teachings  are  not  instru- 
mental in  maintaining  that  imitative  submission.  Did  they  not  too 
much  want  to  make  of  man  the  '  ideational  automaton  '  of  Herbart, 
who  is  plunged  into  contemplation,  and  fears  above  all  the  storms 
of  passion  ?  Is  it  not  time  to  vindicate  the  rights  of  the  real  man,  full 

•  Wundt  expresses  himself  in  these  words  :  '  For,  unless  all  signs  fail,  a  revolution 
of  opinion  is  at  present  going  on,  in  which  the  extreme  individualism  of  the  enlighten- 
ment is  giving  place  to  a  revival  of  the  universalism  of  antiquity,  supplemented  by  a 
better  notion  of  the  liberty  of  human  personality — an  improvement  that  we  owe  to 
individualism.'  (Ethics,  iii.  p.  34  of  English  translation ;  p.  459  of  German  original.) 


1904     ETHICAL   NEED   OF   THE  PRESENT  DAY  225 

of  vigour,  who  is  capable  of  really  loving  what  is  worth  being  loved 
and  hating  what  deserves  hatred,  apart  from  the  personalities  in  which 
the  lovable  or  the  spiteful  has  been  incarnated — the  man  who  is 
always  ready  to  enter  the  arena  and  to  fight  for  an  ideal  which  ennobles 
his  love  and  justifies  his  antipathies  ?  From  the  times  of  the  philo- 
sophers of  antiquity  there  was  a  tendency  to  represent  '  virtue '  as 
a  sort  of  '  wisdom '  which  induces  the  wise  man  to  '  cultivate  the 
beauty  of  his  soul,'  rather  than  to  join  '  the  unwise  '  in  their  struggles 
against  the  evils  of  the  day.  Later  on  that  virtue  became  '  non- 
resistance  to  evil,'  and  for  many  centuries  in  succession  individual, 
personal  salvation,  coupled  with  resignation  and  a  passive  attitude 
towards  evil,  was  the  essence  of  Christian  ethics;  the  result  being 
the  culture  of  a  monastic  indifference  to  social  good  and  evil,  and  the 
elaboration  of  an  intricate  argumentation  in  favour  of  '  virtuous 
individualism.'  There  is  no  doubt,  however,  that  a  reaction  begins 
now,  and  the  question  is  asked  whether  a  passive  attitude  in  the 
presence  of  evil  does  not  merely  mean  moral  cowardice  ?  whether, 
as  was  taught  by  the  Zend  Avesta,  an  active  struggle  against  Ahriman 
as  not  the  first  condition  of  virtue  ? 10  We  need  moral  progress,  but 
without  moral  courage  no  moral  progress  is  possible. 

Such  are  some  of  the  main  currents  of  thought  concerning  the 
ethical  need  of  the  day  which  can  be  discerned  amid  the  present 
confusion.  All  of  them  converge  towards  one  leading  idea.  What 
is  wanted  now  is  a  new  comprehension  of  morality :  in  its  funda- 
mental principle,  which  must  be  broad  enough  to  infuse  new  life  in 
our  civilisation,  and  in  its  methods,  which  must  be  freed  from  both 
the  transcendental  survivals  and  the  narrow  conceptions  of  philistine 
utilitarianism.  The  elements  for  such  a  comprehension  are  already 
at  hand.  The  importance  of  mutual  aid  in  the  evolution  of  the 
animal  world  and  human  history  may  be  taken,  I  believe,  as  a  posi- 
tively established  scientific  truth,  free  of  any  hypothetical  admission. 
We  may  also  take  next,  as  granted,  that  in  proportion  as  mutual  aid 
becomes  more  habitual  in  a  human  community,  and  so  to  say  instinc- 
tive, this  very  fact  leads  to  a  parallel  development  of  the  sense  of 
justice,  with  its  necessary  accompaniment  of  equity  and  equalitarian 
self-restraint.  The  idea  that  the  personal  rights  of  every  individual 
are  as  unassailable  as  the  same  rights  of  every  other  individual  grows 
in  proportion  as  class  distinctions  fade  away ;  and  it  becomes  esta- 
blished as  a  matter  of  fact  when  the  institutions  of  a  given  community 
have  been  altered  permanently  in  this  sense.  A  certain  degree  of 
identification  of  the  individual  with  the  interests  of  the  group  to  which 
it  belongs  has  necessarily  existed  since  the  very  beginning  of  sociable 
life,  and  it  is  apparent  even  among  the  lowest  animals.  But  in 
proportion  as  relations  of  equalitarian  justice  are  solidly  established 

18  C.  P.  Thiele,  Geschichte  der  Eeligion  im  Alter thiim,  German  translation  by 
G.  Gehrich.  Gotha,  1903,  vol.  ii.  pp.  163  sq. 


226  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

in  the  human  community,  the  ground  is  prepared  for  the  further  and 
the  more  general  development  of  those  more  refined  relations,  under 
which  man  so  well  understands  and  feels  the  feelings  of  other  men 
affected  by  his  actions  that  he  refrains  from  offending  them,  even 
though  he  may  have  to  forsake  on  that  account  the  satisfaction  of 
some  of  his  own  desires,  and  when  he  so  fully  identifies  his  feelings 
with  those  of  the  others  that  he  is  ready  to  sacrifice  his  forces  for  their 
benefit  without  expecting  anything  in  return.  These  are  the  feelings 
and  the  habits  which  alone  deserve  the  name  of  Morality,  properly 
speaking,  although  most  ethical  writers  confound  them,  under  the 
name  of  altruism,  with  the  mere  sense  of  justice. 

Mutual  Aid — Justice — Morality  are  thus  the  consecutive  steps  of  an 
ascending  series,  revealed  to  us  by  the  study  of  the  animal  world  and 
man.  It  is  not  something  imposed  from  the  outside  ;  it  is  an  organic 
necessity  which  carries  in  itself  its  own  justification,  confirmed  and 
illustrated  by  the  whole  of  the  evolution  of  the  animal  kingdom, 
beginning  with  its  earliest  colony-stages,  and  gradually  rising  to  our 
civilised  human  communities.  Speaking  an  imaged  language,  it  is 
a  general  law  of  organic  evolution,  and  this  is  why  the  senses  of  Mutual 
Aid,  Justice,  and  Morality  are  rooted  in  man's  mind  with  all  the  force 
of  an  inborn  instinct — the  first  being  evidently  the  strongest,  and  the 
third,  which  is  the  latest,  being  the  least  imperative  of  the  three.  Like 
the  need  of  food,  shelter,  or  sleep,  these  instincts  are  self-preservation 
instincts.  Of  course,  they  may  sometimes  be  weakened  under  the 
influence  of  certain  circumstances,  and  we  know  numbers  of  such 
instances,  when  a  relaxation  of  these  instincts  takes  place,  for  one 
reason  or  another,  in  some  animal  group,  or  in  a  human  community ; 
but  then  the  group  necessarily  begins  to  fail  in  the  struggle  for  life  ; 
it  marches  towards  its  decay.  And  if  it  perseveres  in  the  wrong 
direction,  if  it  does  not  revert  to  those  necessary  conditions  of  survival 
and  of  progressive  development,  which  are  Mutual  Aid,  Justice,  and 
Morality — then  the  group,  the  race,  or  the  species  dies  out  and  dis- 
appears. It  did  not  fulfil  the  necessary  condition  of  evolution — and  it 
must  go. 

This  is  the  solid  foundation  which  science  gives  us  for  the  elabora- 
tion of  a  new  system  of  ethics  and  its  justification ;  and,  therefore, 
instead  of  proclaiming  '  the  bankruptcy  of  science,'  what  we  have 
now  to  do  is  to  examine  how  scientific  ethics  can  be  built  up  out  of 
the  elements  which  modern  research,  stimulated  by  the  idea  of 
evolution,  has  accumulated  for  that  purpose. 

P.  KROPOTKIN. 


1904 


THE  HARVEST  OF   THE  HEDGEROWS 

A   LANDSCAPE  WITH  fIGURES 


EVERY  lover  of  the  open  air,  who  follows  Nature  through  sunshine 
and  rain,  has  found  some  spot  which  is  dearer  to  him  and  carries  a 
deeper  meaning  than  any  other  place  on  earth.  From  the  earliest 
green  of  the  swelling  bud  to  the  last  parched  winter  leaf,  that  clings 
to  sheltered  oak  or  beech  until  the  memory  of  a  year  ago  is  swept 
away  by  the  gales  of  March,  the  colours  seem  brighter  there  than  else- 
where, and  the  little  confidences  with  which  Nature  rewards  his  con- 
stancy become  more  tender  and  intimate. 

It  may  be  an  open  moorland,  robed  in  summer  in  its  mantle  of 
imperial  purple  and  gay  only  in  the  unprofitable  riches  of  golden- 
spangled  furze  ;  or  a  treeless  down,  sprinkled  with  delicate  blue  hare- 
bells, that  darkens  under  no  sorrow  heavier  than  the  passing  shadow 
of  a  wind-driven  cloud ;  or  even  a  melancholy  fen,  where  the  grey 
heron  stands  motionless  for  hours  by  the  brink  of  a  muddy  ditch,  and 
cold  blue  sedges  lean  trembling  before  the  storm.  But  whether  it  be 
mountain,  woodland,  or  broad  plain,  if  he  have  not  caught  the  spirit 
of  his  bit  of  countryside  he  has  missed  one  of  the  finer  joys  of  life. 
Though  he  may  have  travelled  the  whole  world  over,  and  viewed  the 
wonders  of  another  hemisphere,  he  is  like  one  who,  after  a  thousand 
gay  romances,  has  found  no  abiding  love,  or  amidst  a  teeming  humanity 
has  made  no  enduring  friendship. 

The  spot  I  love  the  most  is  within  easy  walking  distance  from  my 
home,  and  thither  my  errandless  footsteps  always  wander  by  some 
indescribable  attraction. 

A  narrow  byway  cuts  through  a  sandy  hollow,  and  then  warily 
descends  aslant  the  steep  hillside.  Again  it  rises  over  a  gentle  knap, 
a  sort  of  outwork  of  the  range,  and  from  this  lower  summit  a  broad 
valley  lies  full  in  view. 

The  land  below  is  rich  in  green  pastures,  sparingly  intermixed  with 
square  arable  fields,  in  which,  after  a  yellow  stubble,  the  furrows  turn 
up  a  light  brown  behind  the  plough.  Everywhere  there  is  a  soil  so 
deep  that  no  outcropping  rock  can  shame  us  with  the  nakedness  of 
its  poverty  by  wearing  holes  in  its  imperishable  garment  of  verdure 
decked  with  flowers.  The  fields  are  small ;  therefore  it  is  a  country 

227 


228  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  Aug. 

of  hedgerows,  with  stately  elms  and  here  and  there  an  oak  standing 
along  the  banks  and  casting  mysterious  shade  upon  the  dark  water 
that  often  lies  in  the  ditches  below.  Yet  many  of  the  fields  have 
once  been  smaller  still ;  and  then  a  gentle  ridge  and  hollow,  covered 
with  grass  of  a  deeper  green,  and  a  row  of  tall,  spreading  trees  show 
where  a  hedge  and  ditch  have  at  some  time  been. 

A  spirit  of  tranquil  plenty  and  contentment  lightly  rests  upon  the 
whole  valley,  filling  every  nook  and  corner,  like  sunshine  of  a  cloud- 
less summer  noon. 

At  early  morning,  and  again  of  an  afternoon,  a  dairyman  comes 
down  to  the  pasture  and  throws  open  the  gate.  You  can  hear  his 
voice  calling  to  the  herd,  and  perhaps  the  barking  of  his  dog.  The 
patient  red  and  white  milch-cows  deliberately  obey,  and  slowly  pass 
out  of  sight.  Yet  now  and  again  there  is  a  glimpse  of  bright  colour 
as  they  wind  along  the  lane.  Sometimes  a  wagon,  laden  with  shining 
tins  and  laughing  folk,  rattles  to  the  meadow  instead  ;  and  then  the 
cattle  gather  in  a  shady  corner  and  are  milked  in  the  field.  All  the 
rest  of  the  day,  whether  they  stand  on  the  bright  after-grass  that 
comes  after  the  hay  or  he  in  a  sea  of  glistening  buttercups,  they  are 
left  to  ruminate  in  peace.  Starlings  congregate  around  them.  Wag- 
tails run  quite  close  to  catch  the  flies.  Through  all  the  summer 
months  nesting  wood-pigeons,  out  of  sight  amidst  foliaged-curtained 
branches  or  from  the  dark  ivy,  that  has  run  up  from  the  hedge  and 
overgrown  so  many  a  stalwart  trunk,  make  known  their  satisfac- 
tion with  the  unceasing  monotony  of  their  one  never-changing 
phrase. 

There  are  places  a  thousand  times  more  lonely  and  less  populated 
than  this  quiet  vale. 

Every  mile  or  so,  a  square  church- tower  and  a  cluster  of  thatched 
gables  rise  above  or  peep  between  the  elms,  and  a  film  of  grey  smoke 
tells  a  tale  of  hearths  unseen.  Yet  a  few  steps  from  the  highroad, 
not  even  the  solitary  woodland  can  offer  a  more  beautiful  seclusion. 
This  is  the  greatest  charm  of  this  country  of  old  hedgerows. 

They  are  beautiful,  these  hedgerows.  Oftentimes  neglected  and  left 
uncut  for  years,  they  grow  into  a  wild  profusion.  Though  they  keep 
out  the  sun,  at  least  they  offer  shelter  from  the  winter  wind.  Black- 
thorn and  wrinkled  maple,  hawthorn  and  hazel,  straight  sapling  of 
grey  ash,  and  frequent  suckers  from  the  long  roots  of  the  elm  trees,  all 
push  each  other  and  intermingle  their  leaves  of  various  shapes  and 
colours.  The  honeysuckles,  hoping  to  flower  unpicked,  climb  high 
out  of  reach.  The  briars  hang  down  and  offer  their  sweet  pink  flowers. 
Brambles  thrust  themselves  and  straggle  everywhere.  Here  is  a  mass 
of  clematis  ;  and  there  white  bryony,  in  close  company  with  the 
broad,  glossy,  heart-shaped  leaves  of  the  black,  meets  in  a  tangle 
with  the  little  purple,  yellow-eyed  flowers  of  the  woody  nightshade. 
From  the  snowy  blossom  of  the  blackthorn  upon  a  leafless  hedge, 


1904       THE   HARVEST   OF   THE  HEDGEROWS        229 

through  all  the  fragrant  summer  to  the  frost,  when  fieldfares  come  in 
a  flock  to  clear  away  the  blood-red  haws  in  a  day,  the  hedgerow  is  a 
glory  and  delight. 

At  last,  in  winter,  or  at  least  when  the  sap  is  low,  a  new  figure  is 
seen  in  the  landscape. 

The  hedger  comes  in  his  gloves  and  long  leathern  gaiters.  He  clears 
away  the  useless  stuff — '  trumpery,'  he  calls  it — chooses  with  care  the 
likeliest  growing  wood  for  '  plashers,'  with  here  and  there  a  straight 
sapling  to  grow  into  a  tree,  stands  high  upon  the  bank,  and  chops 
down  all  the  rest.  With  a  deft  blow  of  his  hook  he  cuts  the  '  plasher  ' 
almost  through,  so  that  it  seems  wonderful  that  it  can  live.  He  lays 
it,  and  pegs  it  down;  builds  up  the  bank  with  sods,  and  fills  the 
new-made  ditch  with  thorns,  lest  cattle  should  come  and  trample 
upon  his  work.  So  the  old  hedge  is  turned  to  account.  Nothing  is 
wasted.  There  is  wood  to  burn,  and  fagots  for  the  baker's  oven. 
The  younger  hazel  goes  for  sticks  for  next  year's  peas ;  the  straight 
ashen  poles  to  fence  sweet-smelling  ricks.  Even  the  '  trumpery  '  will 
serve  as  staddle  to  make  a  dry  foundation  for  some  future  mow. 

This,  no  doubt,  is  the  true  harvest  of  the  hedgerow ;  but  it  is  not 
the  harvest  which  gave  a  title  to  this  sketch. 

It  was  autumn,  and  all  the  corn  was  hauled.  Upon  many  of  the 
squares  of  golden  stubble  droves  of  pigs  were  running  to  pick  up  the 
ears  missed  by  the  rake,  and  the  ripe  grains  that  had  fallen  when 
the  sheaves  were  pitched.  On  others  the  plough  was  already  at  work. 
The  ploughman  shouted  to  his  team  as  he  turned  under  the  hedgerow 
to  come  back  upon  the  other  side.  The  rooks,  that  are  so  wary  of 
the  harmless  rambler  like  myself,  rose  as  he  drew  near,  circled  within 
easy  gunshot  above  his  head,  spread  their  black  wings,  and  lightly 
dropped  upon  the  fresh- turned  furrow  behind  his  back.  From  beyond 
the  hedge  came  the  sound  of  the  woodman's  axe,  for  the  September 
gales,  where  the  ditch  lay  to  windward,  had  here  and  there  torn  up 
an  ancient  elm  by  the  roots,  and  he  was  lopping  off  the  branches  in 
readiness  for  the  timber  wagon  to  haul  away  the  trunk. 

I  was  in  the  valley  walking  down  a  broad  green  lane.  On  either 
hand  were  signs  of  the  declining  year.  Where  the  wild  roses  grew  the 
briars  were  decked  with  crimson  hips  ;  and,  although  a  solitary  flower 
might  still  be  seen,  the  honeysuckles  had  changed  to  clusters  of 
reddening  berries.  The  hazel  leaves  were  yellow,  and  the  maple  bush 
was  turning  to  old  gold.  A  few  sparse  leaves  and  a  sprinkling  of  apples 
brighter  than  guineas  still  hung  upon  the  crab.  Surprised  by  the 
quietness  of  my  approach,  a  startled  blackbird  rushed  out  of  the 
ditch.  A  little  later  my  eye  caught  sight  of  a  wren,  creeping  like  a 
mouse  and  hiding  out  of  sight  behind  the  old  level  plashing  upon  the 
bank  ;  and  all  the  while  I  had  the  company  of  a  flock  of  linnets,  that 
waited  till  I  came,  flew  out  of  the  hedge  with  a  whirring  of  wings, 


230  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

alighted  only  a  few  paces  in  front,  all  on  one  bush,  and  waited 
again. 

Far  away  down  the  lane  something  moved. 

For  a  moment  it  was  impossible  to  be  certain,  and  yet  surely  a 
living  thing  had  stirred  in  the  distant  shadow  of  the  hedgerow. 

Then,  just  beyond  a  clump  of  dark  gorse,  I  could  distinguish  the 
stooping  figure  of  an  old  woman.  Her  clothes  also  were  old  and 
had  taken  on  autumnal  hues.  Faded  with  the  summer  sun  and 
weather-stained  by  rain,  her  skirt  and  shawl,  whatever  their  original 
colours,  were  in  keeping  with  the  landscape,  and  mellow  and  unobtru- 
sive as  the  russet-grey  on  the  back  and  wings  of  a  song-thrush.  Some- 
times she  crept  down  into  the  ditch;  then  came  out  into  the  lane 
and  stooped  to  take  something  from  the  ground,  which  for  the  time 
being  she  put  into  her  apron.  At  last  she  stood  up  and  shook  one  of 
the  guinea-laden  branches.  She  was  gathering  crab-apples. 

What  could  she  want  with  them  ? 

The  uses  of  the  crab,  forgotten  long  ago  in  the  village,  are  known 
only  to  the  lover  of  old  customs.  Verjuice  is  but  a  name,  pomatum 
almost  an  unread  line  in  the  dictionary.  Could  this  old  crone,  whose 
face  was  brown  and  wrinkled  like  the  shell  of  a  walnut,  season  the 
dryness  of  a  parish  loaf  and  secretly  comfort  her  elderly  heart  with 
some  old-world  bowl,  in  which  a  roasted  crab  should  bob  against  her 
lips,  'and  on  her  withered  dew-lap  pour  the  ale '  ?  She  looked  old 
enough  even  for  that.  On  the  ground  beside  her  was  a  sack  half  filled. 

Imagination  refused  to  picture  an  orgie  so  extensive. 

She  was  the  first  to  speak.  In  the  rural  parts  of  this  West  Country 
people  do  not  meet  and  pass  without  a  word. 

•*  Nice  weather,'  said  she. 

*  Beautiful  weather,'  said  I. 

'  Zo  'tis,'  said  she,  and  stepped  aside  to  pour  a  stream  of  little 
yellow,  rosy  apples  out  of  her  apron  into  the  open  mouth  of  the  sack. 

'  But  what  be  about  then,  mother  1  What  good  is  it  to  pick  up 
such  stuff  as  that  ? ' 

'  Lauk-a-massy,  master,'  she  laughed,  '  I  do  often  zay  to  myzelf 
this  time  o'  .year  I  be  but  like  the  birds  that  do  pick  a  liven  off  the 
hedges.' 

'  But  what  do  you  do  with  them  ? ' 

•'  Zell  'em.' 

'  And  what  do  they  do  with  them  ? ' 

'  Pay  vor  'em.' 

In  spite  of  rags  and  poverty  she  was  a  humorous  old  soul.  How- 
ever she  presently  put  a  sudden  check  upon  her  mirth,  and  answered 
with  quiet  civility. 

'  They  don't  use  'em  here,'  she  explained.  '  The  man  that  do 
buy  'em  o'  I  do  zend  'em  to  London.  I  do  believe  they  do  use  'em 
to  gie  a  bitter  flavour  to  a  jelly.  I  really  do.' 


1904      THE  HARVEST  OF  THE   HEDGEROWS        231 

Then  she  chuckled.  The  thing  seemed  so  amusing.  She  was 
laughing  at  an  unknown  world,  distant  and  strange,  where  people  pay 
such  heed  to  the  flavour  of  a  jelly. 

At  the  mention  of  London  the  recollection  of  two  boys  from 
Pimlico,  whom  I  had  met  in  a  lane  about  three  months  before,  came 
into  my  mind.  Philanthropy  had  sent  them  down  here,  but  until 
then  they  had  never  seen  a  green  field.  Their  inferences  were  strange 
enough.  I  wondered  what  impressions  the  mind  of  this  old  woman 
of  the  hedgerows  would  gather  if  suddenly  she  could  be  transplanted 
to  a  city  street. 

'  Do  you  live  near  here  ?  ' 

'  I  do  live  across  to  Sutton,'  she  answered,  '  in  the  little  old  cottage 
that  do  lie  under  the  hill.' 

'  I  suppose  you've  lived  there  a  long  time  ?  ' 

'  All  my  life,  as  mid  zay,'  she  laughed.  '  I  wur  out  to  sarvice 
dree  year ;  but  I  wur  married  when  I  wur  nineteen.  I  wur  brought 
to  the  little  cottage  then,  an'  vrom  thik  day  to  theas  I  ha'n't  never 
laid  head  to  piller  under  another  roof.' 

It  was  by  the  merest  accident,  and  only  for  the  sake  of  hearing 
her  talk,  that  I  remarked  :  '  Then  for  certain  you  can't  have  been  to 
London  to  look  after  the  crab-apples.' 

In  a  moment  her  good-humour  vanished.  The  wrinkles  deepened, 
and  the  weather-beaten,  upright  furrows  between  her  brows.  Her 
eyes  regarded  me  sharply  and  with  suspicion. 

'  Who  put  'ee  up  vor  to  come  here  an'  ax  me  'bout  that,  then  ?  ' 
she  inquired,  angrily. 

I  asserted  my  innocence.  I  pointed  out  that  after  all  the  idea  of 
a  visit  to  London  had  been  rendered  incredible,  if  not  impossible,  by 
her  statement  that  she  had  never  been  away  for  a  night  from  the 
little  cottage  under  the  hill. 

She  scanned  me  attentively,  was  satisfied  with  the  explanation, 
and  consoled. 

'  Ah,  well !  They  do  laugh  at  I  about  that,  an'  I  thought  mayhap 
you  knowed,'  she  cried  merrily.  '  I  have  a-bin  to  London.  An' 
I  ha'n't  never  a-bin  away  vrom  home.  An'  I  baint  no  liar  for  all 
that.' 

She  delighted  in  this  quibbling  manner  of  the  clowns  of  the  six- 
teenth century.  But  old-fashioned  West  Country  folk  still  love  to 
riddle  in  their  speech.  She  stood  expectant,  eager  for  an  invitation 
to  go  on,  but  fully  determined  to  loiter. 

'  I  can't  make  that  out,'  said  I. 

*  An'  never  went  inzide  a  house,'  said  she. 
I  only  shook  my  head. 

*  Nor  zet  voot  in  a  street.' 

She  paused  ;  then  raised  her  voice  in  the  excitement  of  success, 
'  Nor  so  much  as  laid  out  a  penny-piece  vor  a  bit  or  a  zup.' 


232  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

It  was  no  good.  I  implored  her  to  relieve  me  from  further  mental 
effort  by  telling  me  without  delay  ;  but,  once  started,  her  story  became 
a  monologue — an  epic  of  the  '  little  old  cottage  that  do  lie  under  the 
hill.'  For  the  emotions  which  prompted  her  to  undertake  that 
memorable  journey  were  still  warm  in  her  heart,  and  they  carried 
her  back  even  to  the  days  of  early  motherhood  under  that  little  ridge 
of  brown  thatch. 

'  Wull,  then,  master,'  she  cried,  '  I'll  just  tell  ee  how  it  all  corned 
about.  My  man  an'  I  we  dragged  up  a  terr'ble  long  family,  we  did. 
Massy  'pon  us  !  Things  wur  different  in  them  days.  We  did  all  goo 
out  in  groun'  to  work  then,  wimmin  an'  men.  An'  need  o'  it  too. 
There  werden  much  wheaten  bread  vor  poor  volks  them  days.  The 
wimmin  vokes  an'  maidens  did  all  goo  out  a  bit  to  leasey  a'ter  the 
wheat  wur  a-hauled.  We  did  carr'  the  corn  down  to  mill.  But  la  ! 
The  little  grist-mill  down  to  brook,  he  is  but  vower  walls  an'  a  hatch- 
hole  now.  He  vailed  in  years  agone.  Miller  couldn'  make  a  liven,  an' 
zo  he  gi'ed  un  up.  'Tis  the  big  mills,  zo  the  tale  is,  do  zell  zo  low. 
But  I  tell  'ee  what,  master,  vokes  wur  jollier,  one  wi'  another, 
them  times  than  they  be  now.  Ah  !  They  mid  eat  better  victuals 
nowadays,  but  there's  more  pride.  They  baint  zo  simple  as  they 
wur.  All  they  do  want  now  is  to  save  up  a  vew  ha'pence,  an'  put 
viner  clothes  to  their  backs,  an'  forget  who  they  be.' 

She  stopped  to  laugh.  No  philosopher  ever  took  a  more  genial 
view  of  human  folly  than  this  old  woman  of  the  hedgerow. 

'  But  I  wur  a-gwaine  to  tell  'ee,'  she  went  on,  suddenly  remembering 
that  the  visit  to  London  was  the  real  subject  before  us.  '  Iss.  We 
had  zixteen,  an'  reared  'em  all  but  one.  Nine  o'  'em  bwoys,  an'  all 
growed  up  tall  an'  straight  as  the  poplar  trees  along  the  churchyard 
wall.  Ay,  'twur  a  many  bellies  to  vill.  An'  a  house  o'  childern, 
master,  is  like  a  nest  o'  drushes  wi'  their  mouths  ever  agape.  But 
somehow  or  another  God-a-Mighty  did  send  a  crust.  An'  then  the 
biggest  bwoy  growed  up  to  sar  a  little  a  bird-kippen,  or  to  drave 
roun'  the  wold  hoss  for  the  chaffcutter  or  the  cider-maken.  An'  the 
biggest  maid  did  mind  the  childern  for  I  to  go  out.  An'  zo  we  knocked 
along  till  the  bwoys  had  a-growed  up  hardish  lads  like.  An'  then  there 
wur  a  rabbit,  now  an'  then.  Wull,  there  wur  a  rabbit  pretty  often,  on 
along  then.  An'  then  there  corned  a  bother.  An'  two  o'  'em,  master, 
they  had  a-tookt  the  Queen's  shillen  an'  drinked  un,  an'  marched 
off  wi'  the  sergeant  wi'  the  colours  in  their  hats,  afore  the  summons 
wur  out.  An'  they  wouldn't  none  o'  'em  bide  here  in  parish.  Two 
o'  'em  went  to  furrin  parts,  but  we  never  heard  o'  'em  since,  an' 
whither  they  be  live  or  dead  is  more  'an  I  can  tell.  They  be  all  o' 
'em  one  place  or  tother,  an'  I  hope  they  be  doen  well.  An'  the 
maidens  be  all  married  away.  Little  Benjamin  he  wur  the  last  to 
goo.  I  wur  terr'ble  sorry,  too.  But  I  said :  "  'Tis  no  more  'an  a 
brood  o'  dunnocks,  an'  when  they  be  vlush  they  do  vly."  ' 


1904       THE  HARVEST   OF   THE  HEDGEROWS         233 

She  paused  again,  picked  up  half  a  dozen  crab-apples,  and  dropped 
them  into  her  apron. 

'  But  I  wur  a-gwaine  to  tell  'ee,'  she  quickly  resumed.  '  Ben- 
jamin's wife  she  did  use  to  zend  a  letter,  an'  one  o'  the  school  childern 
did  read  un  out  to  me.  He  wur  a  porter  to  London,  but  house  rent, 
her  zaid,  wur  most  wonderful  dear.  When  I  wur  out  quiet  a-picken 
berries,  Benjamin  wur  a'most  for  ever  in  my  mind.  Mus'  be  up  ten 
year  agone,  an'  I  carr'd  in  nineteen  peck  o'  berries.  I  do  mind  'twur 
nineteen  peck  at  tenpence  in  to  factory.  I  can  see  the  foreman  dyer 
now,  out  in  yard  a-measuren  o'  'em  out  wi'  a  peck  measure.  An' 
the  men  wur  all  a-chacklen  about  the  next  year's  wayzgoose.  "  What  ? 
zaid  I,  "  do  'ee  arrange  next  zummer's  holiday  afore  the  winter  is 
begun  ?  "  "  We  be  gwaine  to  London  for  the  day,  an'  you  can 
come  too  if  you  be  a-minded,"  zaid  he,  though  to  be  sure  'twur  no 
more  'an  a  joke.  But  jus'  the  very  nick  o'  time  the  master  his  own 
zelf  corned  by ;  an'  the  foreman  dyer  he  up  an'  laughed.  "  Here's 
Mary  do  think  to  go  to  London  wi'  we  next  zummer."  Then  they 
did  all  grin  at  I.  But  the  master,  he  said  .  "  How  many  years  have 
'ee  brought  berries  in  to  I,  Mary  ?  "  I  zaid  :  "  Tis  a  score  or  one-an'- 
twenty,  master."  Zaid  he  :  "  Come  an'  ax  me  next  zummer-fair,  an' 
I'll  gie  'ee  a  ticket,  Mary."  An'  wi'  the  very  zame  on  he  went. 

'  I  thought  a  lot  about  thik  ticket.  I  thought  a  lot  about  Ben- 
jamin too.  There  corned  a  letter  in  the  spring,  that  zaid  that  Ben- 
jamin's wife — 'tis  his  second  wife — had  just  a-got  her  third.  I  wur 
a-picken  watercresses,  an'  'twur  most  wonderful  cold.  I  really  do 
believe  I  veeled  wolder  them  days  'an  now  I  be  sich  a  ancient  wold 
'ooman.  I  do  mind  I  wur  wet-vooted  an'  vinger-cold.  That  wur 
about  the  time  my  wold  man  wur  a-tookt.  I  thought  then  I  werden 
a-gwaine  to  live  myself  zo  very  long.  I  did  long  to  zet  eyes  'pon 
Benjamin — most  terr'ble. 

'  Wull,  when  corned  zummer-fair  I  bucked  up  courage  an'  in  I 
went.  There  wur  the  ticket  sure  'nough.  I  carried  un  home.  But 
lauk  !  Afore  night  'twur  the  talk  o'  all  the  parish,  an'  folk  did  run 
in  an'  out  all  day  long  for  a  week  to  look  at  un.  An'  I  got  a  basket 
o'  apples  an'  a  papern  bag  o'  lollipops  for  the  childern  to  carr'  in  my 
pocket.  An'  the  neighbours  they  all  zaid  :  "  Do  'ee  step  in  an'  pick 
what  viewers  you  do  want  in  the  early  marnen  afore  you  do  start." 
Zo  I  had  a  tutty — a  nosegay,  master,  bigger — ay,  zix  times  zo  big 
as  the  biggest  picklen  cabbage  that  ever  wur  growed.  A'most  zo 
zoon  as  the  zun  wur  up  I  wur  'pon  the  road.  An'  'twur  sich  a  beautiful 
day,  wi'  a  dew  like  vrost,  an'  the  sky  misty  clear  in  the  marnen.  The 
train  did  start  at  vive.  But  I  waited  vor  un  a  good  half -hour,  I  did. 
An'  on  the  road  the  foreman  dyer  he  said  :  "  You  do  know  how  to 
act  when  you  do  get  there,  don't  'ee,  Mary  ?  "  An'  I  told  un  :  "  My 
son  'ull  be  at  the  station  for  certain  sure." 

•'  But  when  we  got  out  to  London  station,  master,  sure  there  wur 


234  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

niwer  sich  a  hurry-push  in  theas  world  afore.  Made  I  that  maze- 
headed  I  wur  bound  to  zit  down  'pon  the  seat  to  let  'em  all  pass. 
But  zb  zoon  as  one  train  wur  gone  thsre  wur  another.  I  wur  afeard 
o'  my  life  to  move,  an'  there  I  zot.  An'  when  corned  to  a  lull  like, 
I  up  an'  zaid  to  a  porter  :  "  Can  'ee  run  an'  tell  young  Benjamin 
Bracher  that  his  mother  is  here  ?  "  Zo  he  said  :  "  Who  ?  "  An'  I 
told  un  again.  "  I  niwer  heard  the  name,"  said  he.  "  But  he's  a 
porter  like  yourself  to  London  Station."  "  Which  station  ?  "  he  axed 
me.  "  Why,  London  Station,"  said  I.  "  Oh,  there's  vifty  London 
stations  an'  more,"  said  he.  "  Then  how  shall  I  get  at  un  ?  "  said  I. 
"  Do  'ee  know  where  he  do  live  ?  "  he  axed  me.  "  'Tis  in  Silver 
Street,"  said  I.  "  There's  a  hundred  Silver  Streets,"  said  he  ;  an' 
then  he  wur  gone. 

'  They  ha'n't  got  no  time  to  talk  to  a  body  in  London.  I  wur 
afeard  to  move.  I  put  the  basket  o'  apples  under  the  seat,  an'  there 
I  zot. 

'  Come  midday  the  zun  did  strike  down  most  terr'ble  hot,  an' 
the  place  were  like  a  oven.  The  nosegay  o'  vlowers  beginned  to 
quail  in  my  han'.  Zoon  enough  they  went  off  zo  dead  as  hay.  Volk 
did  stop  an'  stare  at  me.  The  childern  did  turn  their  heads.  But 
there  I  zot. 

'  I  wur  afeard  o'  my  life  to  move.  Come  a'ternoon  I  put  down 
my  han'  for  my  hankercher  to  mop  my  face.  But  the  lollipops  had 
all  a-melted  drough  the  papern  bag,  an'  he  wur  a-stickt  to  my  pocket. 
Zo  I  just  pat  my  face  wi'  my  sleeve.  An'  there  I  zot. 

'  I  wur  too  much  to  a  mizmaze,  master,  ever  to  think.  You 
niwer  zeed  sich  crowds,  an'  like  a  river  never  stop.  There  I  zot  till 
come  the  cool  o'  the  evenen.  An'  then  the  forman  dyer  corned  along. 
An'  he  hollered  to  me  :  "  Mary,  Mary,  you'll  be  lef  behine  !  "  an' 
he  pushed  me  on  by  the  shoulders  afore  un,  a'most  like  a  wheelbarrer, 
an'  bundled  me  into  the  train. 

'  'Twur  midnight  when  the  train  got  to  Yeovil  town,  an'  I  had  up 
vive  mile  to  walk.  'Twur  daylight  when  I  got  home,  an'  a  marnen 
misty-clear  like  when  I  started.  I  took  the  kay  down  out  o'  the 
thatch  an'  put  un  in  kayhole.  But  fur  the  life  o'  me  I  couldn'  turn 
un,  an'  I  zot  down  'pon  step  an'  cried.' 

•     In  a  moment  she  was  merry  again. 

'  Zo  now  they  do  ax  me  if  I've  a-bin  to  London,'  she  said ;  '  but 
I  do  laugh  wi'  the  rest.' 

She  told  me  in  quaint  phrase  all  about  the  harvest  of  the  hedgerows 
— how  the  blackberries  were  the  first  to  come,  with  the  black-ripe, 
the  red,  and  the  green  all  on  one  bunch ;  and  the  little  pale  purple 
flowers  still  in  bloom  on  the  same  spray,  and  looking  as  fresh  as  spring 
until  the  frost.  They  were  sold  not  by  measure  but  by  weight.  It 
paid  better  to  pick  at  a  penny  when  they  were  plenty  than  for  three- 


halfpence  when  they  were  scarce.  And  the  dealer  he  did  come — oh, 
yes,  he  did  come  in  a  two-wheeled  cart  twice  a  week,  every  week  of 
his  life,  and  weigh  and  pay — no  trouble  about  that,  but  money  in 
hand  paid. 

But  the  privet  berries,  now,  for  the  dyer,  they  must  wait  until 
after  the  frost,  when  they  would  pinch  soft  between  finger  and  thumb, 
and  leave  a  deep  purple  stain.  And  they  must  be  carried  to  the  fac- 
tory in  the  town.  But  then — there  was  many  a  good  sort  about  in 
the  village  or  on  the  road  to  give  an  old  woman  a  lift. 

And  sloes  must  wait  for  the  winter  too,  and  some  years  they  were 
on  the  blackthorn  bushes  so  thick  as  ever  they  could  stick.  Really 
and  truly  until  it  was  washed  off  by  the  rain  they  were  sometimes 
blue  with  bloom — most  beautiful.  But  they  went  to  the  gentry, 
mostly  to  make  sloe  gin.  She  had  quite  a  private  connection  for  the 
sloes,  and  the  same  people  bought  them  year  after  year. 

'  Why,  you  must  get  quite  rich,'  said  I,  '  at  this  time  of  the  year.' 

*  I  can  knock  along,'  she  boasted,  '  wold  as  I  be,  an'  put  away 
a  shillen,  too.  I've  a-bin  poor  all  my  life.  But  I've  a-bin  happy  an' 
picked  up  bread  day  by  day.  There  is  that  in  the  open  vields  is 
more  company  to  I,  'an  a  street  o'  volk  I  don't  know.  Zunshine  or 
rain,  an'  all  but  the  hard  vrostes,  I  do  enjoy  life.  I  do.  But  the 
young  mus'  all  run  away  now-a-days.' 

She  paused  to  think.  Then  suddenly  raised  her  arms  above  her 
head. 

'  God-A'mighty,  master ! '  she  cried.  '  What  mus'  it  be  to  be 
poor  in  thik  girt  place  ?  * 

Appalled  at  the  thought  she  turned  away  and  bent  over  her  apple- 
picking.  Yet  presently  she  stood  up  and  was  merry  again. 

I  positively  suspected  that  wrinkled  old  eyelid  of  a  wink. 

'  I  baint  a-gwaine  to  be  buried  by  the  parish,'  she  laughed,  '  not  I/ 

But  even  poverty  can  keep  a  good  heart  under  the  hedgerows. 

WALTER  RAYMOND. 


236  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 


THE   UNIONIST  FREE    TRADERS 


THE  aims  and  objects  of  the  Unionist  Free  Traders  are  the  subject  of 
the  following  article,  and  by  Unionist  Free  Traders  I  mean  Conserva- 
tives and  Liberal  Unionists  who  mean  to  remain  Unionists  as  well 
as  Free  Traders,  notwithstanding  the  fact  that  for  the  moment  the 
great  bulk  of  the  Unionist  party  has,  under  the  fascination  exercised 
by  Mr.  Chamberlain,  given  a  temporary  adhesion  to  the  policy  of 
Tariff  Kefonn.    The  public  has  been  puzzled  by  the  spectacle  of 
seeing  certain  Unionist  Free  Traders  in  the  House  of  Commons  and 
in  the  country  joining  the  Liberals,  and  imagine  from  this  that  the 
Unionist  Free   Trade  movement  is  nothing  more  than  a  secession 
from  the  Unionist  party  to  their  opponents.     Though  it  is  easy  to 
see  how  such  a  view  has  arisen,  no  greater  mistake  can  possibly  be 
made  than  to  imagine  that  the  Unionist  Free  Traders,  in  creating  a 
separate  organisation,  are  merely  making  a  halfway  house  for  them- 
selves in  their  road  to  Liberalism.    But  I  shall  be  asked,  if  this  is  so, 
what  is  the  meaning  of  the  Unionist  Free  Traders  leaving  the  Unionist 
party,  and  organising  themselves  for  the  political  battle.     My  answer 
is  that  the  Unionist  Free  Traders  are  organising  themselves,  not 
because  they  mean  to  join  the  Liberals,  but  because  they  mean  to  do 
nothing  of  the  kind.     If  they  meant  to  join  the  Liberals  there  would 
be  no  necessity  for  a  separate  organisation.    Their  aims  and  objects, 
their  intentions  and  their  policy  can  be  best  expressed  by  stating 
what  they  mean  to  do.     In  the  first  place  they  mean  to  maintain 
both  the  Union  and  Free  Trade.     Secondly,  they  mean  to  remain 
Unionists,  and  to  withstand  all  attempts  on  the  part  of  the  Protec- 
tionists to  force  them  to  give  up  their  Unionism  and  become  Liberals. 
Thirdly,  they  are  determined  to  organise  themselves  on  a  strictly 
Unionist  basis ;  that  is,  they  mean  to  keep  themselves  separate  from 
the   party   of    their   late    opponents,    the    Liberals,  in    order    that 
when  Mr.  Chamberlain's  policy  has  been  defeated,  as  it  inevitably 
will  be,  at  the  next  General  Election,  they  may  be  ready  to  help 
reconstitute  the  Unionist  party  on  a  Free  Trade  basis.    In  a  word, 
the  Unionist  Free  Traders  mean  to  make  their  Free  Trade  views 
effective,  by  defeating  Protection  and  by  reconstructing  the  Unionist 


1904  THE  UNIONIST  FREE  TRADERS  237 

party  after  that  defeat  on  a  Free  Trade  basis.  These  aspirations 
will  no  doubt  be  declared  ridiculous  by  our  opponents,  but  at  any 
rate  that  is  what  they  are  determined  to  do,  and  history  shows  that 
parties  quite  as  small  in  number  as  they  are  have  accomplished 
equally  important  results. 

II 

If  these  are  the  aims  and  objects  of  the  Free  Trade  Unionist  party, 
how  are  they  to  be  carried  out  ?  The  essential  point  at  the  present 
moment  is,  as  I  have  said,  for  Unionist  Free  Traders  to  make  their 
Free  Trade  views  effective.  Though  they  are  equally  determined  to 
make  their  Unionist  views  effective,  there  is  at  the  present  moment 
little  necessity  to  take  special  action  in  regard  to  the  Union,  for  in 
fact  the  Union  is  not  in  danger.  Save  for  a  few  exceptional  men 
and  a  few  exceptional  constituencies,  it  is  admitted  by  all  who  think 
clearly  and  speak  honestly  that  Home  Rule  is  not  before  the  country. 
The  Liberal  party,  as  a  whole,  is  utterly  tired  of  the  issue,  and  though 
the  Liberal  leaders  cannot  be  expected  to  stand  in  a  white  sheet  and 
openly  abandon  Home  Rule,  it  is  clear  that  they  have  no  wish  what- 
ever to  put  it  before  the  cause  of  Free  Trade,  or  to  force  any  one  to 
choose  between  the  Union  and  Free  Trade.  No  Liberal  Home  Ruler, 
that  is,  dreams  of  declaring  that  a  man  cannot  be  a  co-worker  with 
Liberals  for  the  cause  of  Free  Trade  at  the  next  General  Election  unless 
he  will  proclaim  himself  a  Home  Ruler  as  well  as  a  Free  Trader.  Such 
a  coupling  of  Free  Trade  and  Home  Rule  is  never  suggested  even  by 
the  most  vehement  of  Liberals.  This  willingness  on  the  part  of  the 
Liberal  party  to  sink  Home  Rule  at  the  next  election  is  intensified 
by  the  disillusionment  of  the  Liberals  in  regard  to  the  Irish  party, 
which  has  been  proceeding  during  the  last  four  or  five  years,  and  may 
be  said  to  have  become  complete  during  the  present  Session.  The 
Irish  Nationalists  have  proved  themselves  the  remorseless  enemies 
of  almost  everything  that  the  Liberals  care  for.  Again,  Liberals  well 
understand  that,  though  not  openly  expressed,  the  Irish  Nationalists 
are  Protectionists  almost  to  a  man,  and  would  be  quite  willing,  '  when 
the  proper  time  comes,'  to  do  a  deal  with  Mr.  Chamberlain  in  order 
to  secure  special  Protectionist  privileges  for  Ireland.  Therefore  the 
Unionist  Free  Traders,  while  remaining  as  strong  in  their  support  of 
the  Union  as  ever,  can  feel  that  the  essential  thing  before  them  at  the 
present  time  is  the  making  of  their  Free  Trade  views  effective.  Now 
this  cannot  be  accomplished  except  by  opposing  Protection  under  all 
its  many  aliases  ;  whether  in  the  crude  and  open  form  supported  by 
Mr.  Chamberlain,  Mr.  Henry  Chaplin,  and  the  Tariff  Reform  League 
or  in  the  apparently  milder  but  in  reality  equally  dangerous  form 
advocated  by  Mr.  Balfour.  But  under  a  system  of  Parliamentary 
Government  there  is  only  one  effective  way  of  opposing  Protection, 
and  that  is  to  vote  for  Free  Trade.  Therefore  Unionist  Free  Traders, 
VOL.  LVI— No.  330  E 


238  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

though  the7  are  determined  to  remain  Unionists,  mean  to  make  their 
Free  Trade  views  effective  by  voting  for  Free  Trade  candidates  irre- 
spective of  party.  They  mean,  that  is,  to  give  the  coup  de  grace  to 
Protection.  In  doing  this,  however,  they  need  not  and  do  not  feel 
that  they  are  putting  off  that  reunion  and  reconstruction  of  the 
Unionist  party  which  is  one  of  their  essential  aims.  On  the  contrary, 
they  feel  that  they  can  best  obtain  that  object  by  making  the  defeat  of 
the  Protectionist  Unionists  at  the  polls  at  the  next  General  Election 
as  complete  as  possible.  It  is  as  certain  as  anything  can  be  in  human 
affairs  that  if  the  overthrow  of  both  Chamberlainism  and  Balfourism 
is  as  overwhelming  as  the  Unionist  Free  Traders  can,  and  I  believe 
will,  render  it,  an  immense  number  of  Conservatives  and  Liberal 
Unionists  who  are  now  under  the  glamour  of  Mr.  Chamberlain's  policy 
will  be  thoroughly  disillusioned.  Many  of  them  will  be  found  to  have 
supported  Mr.  Chamberlain  because  they  thought  he  was  going  to 
sweep  the  country,  and  because  they  liked  the  idea  of  being  con- 
tributories  to  a  great  party  victory.  When  they  find  that  he  has 
done  no  such  thing,  but  instead  has  led  them  to  utter  ruin,  and  when 
they  see  that  what  two  years  ago  was  the  strongest  and  most  united 
political  party  in  the  country  has  been  smashed  to  atoms,  and  reduced 
to  a  state  of  impotence  as  complete  as  that  which  marked  the  Liberal 
party  from  1895  till  last  year,  what  are  likely  to  be  their  sentiments  in 
regard  to  the  men  who  have  led  them  into  a  position  so  deplorable  ? 
Will  not  they  begin  to  ask  whether  Mr.  Chamberlain  was  a  wise  guide, 
and  whether  they  had  not  better  have  kept  in  the  old  ways,  and 
maintained  the  old  safe  policy  which  Lord  Salisbury  represented,  and 
which  the  Duke  of  Devonshire,  Mr.  Ritchie,  Lord  Balfour  of  Burleigh, 
and  Lord  George  Hamilton  were  ready  and  willing  to  carry  on  ?  It 
was  not,  they  will  reflect,  to  ruin  and  destroy  their  party  that  they 
followed  Mr.  Chamberlain,  and  in  the  stress  of  the  reaction  that  will 
follow  thousands  of  voices  are  certain  to  be  raised  in  favour  of  the 
reconstruction  of  the  party  on  its  old  basis,  which  included  Free  Trade. 
Then  will  come  the  opportunity  of  the  Unionist  Free  Traders — of 
those,  that  is,  who,  while  Free  Traders  and  determined  to  make  their 
Free  Trade  views  effective,  have  refused  to  join  the  Liberal  party,  but 
have  maintained  their  Unionism  and  created  a  Unionist  though 
a  Free  Trade  organisation.  Unionist  Free  Traders  will  be  able  to 
point  out  that  reunion  can  always  be  effected  by  the  abandonment  of 
Protection.  They  will  not,  it  is  needless  to  say,  ask  for  the  sacrifice 
of  particular  individuals,  but  as  long  as  Protection  is  abandoned 
once  and  for  all  they  will  be  ready  to  reunite  with  their  old  friends 
and  colleagues, 

III 

I  am  perfectly  prepared  to  hear  it  said  that  this  is  a  dream,  and 
that  the  bulk  of  the  Unionist  party  will  never  be  able  to  abandon 
Protection  or  to  free  themselves  from  the  heavy  burden  of  Mr.  Chamber- 


1904  THE  UNIONIST  FEEE  TEADEES  239 

Iain's  policy.  To  this  I  would  reply  that  a  policy  adopted  so  quickly 
as  the  Protectionist  policy  was  adopted  may  be  abandoned  with  equal 
promptitude.  When  the  glamour  of  a  promised  victory  has  departed 
from  the  Chamberlain  policy  men  will  find  it  by  no  means  difficult  to 
throw  over,  and  will  long  to  return  to  saner  and  safer  ways.  No 
doubt  the  process  of  reconversion  and  reconstruction  will  not  be 
carried  out  in  a  day,  and  will  require  time  and  patience  ;  but  remember 
that  what  the  Unionist  Free  Traders  will  have  to  offer  will  be  by  no 
means  insignificant.  When  the  Unionist  Free  Traders  are  properly 
organised  in  each  constituency,  as  they  will  be  if  the  Unionist  Free 
Traders  do  their  duty,  and  constitute  a  firm  and  compact  body  outside 
the  party,  but  ready  to  return  to  it,  the  temptation  to  the  party 
managers  to  get  them  once  more  into  the  party  fold  will  be  immense. 
When  then  the  Unionist  party  managers  recognise  that  they 
cannot  regain  power  unless  they  satisfy  the  Unionist  Free  Traders, 
they  will  in  the  end  give  the  pledges  which  the  Unionist  Free 
Traders  are  determined  to  obtain.  It  will  be  said,  perhaps,  that 
this  is  a  delusion,  and  I  shall  be  told  that  Mr.  Chamberlain  and  Mr. 
Balfour  counted  the  cost  of  secession  before  they  abandoned  the  policy 
of  Free  Trade  and  took  up  Protection.  They  knew  that  they  must 
lose  a  great  many  Free  Trade  votes,  and  they  will  not  change  their 
policy  because  they  have  obtained  practical  proof  of  the  fact.  This 
argument,  however,  ignores  a  very  important  consideration.  Mr. 
Chamberlain  and  Mr.  Balfour  no  doubt  knew  perfectly  well  that  they 
would  lose  the  Unionist  Free  Trade  votes,  but  they  calculated  on 
obtaining  for  Protection  a  wide  support  from  the  non-party  portion  of 
the  nation,  and  even  from  a  good  number  of  those  who  call  themselves 
Liberals  or  Radicals.  These  new  adherents  they  fully  believed  would 
outweigh  the  Free  Trade  Unionists.  Their  calculation  has  already  turned 
out  ridiculously  wrong,  and  will  be  still  further  falsified  at  the  General 
Election.  Protection  has  found  no  adherence  among  Liberals,  and 
instead  of  attracting  the  non-party  men  has  sent  them  in  thousands, 
as  the  figures  of  the  bye-elections  show,  to  vote  for  Free  Trade  can- 
didates. I  hold  then  that,  if  the  defeat  of  Mr.  Chamberlain  is  as 
complete  at  the  polls  as  I  believe  it  will  be,  the  shrewder  minds  among 
the  Unionist  party  managers  will  realise  that  reunion  with  the  Unionist 
Free  Traders  is  essential  unless  the  party  is  to  wander  in  the  wilder- 
ness, as  did  the  Liberal  party  after  its  adoption  of  Home  Rule.  In 
any  case  the  ideal  of  forming  a  body  whose  special  aim  and  object  it 
shall  be  to  reunite  in  the  future  the  Unionist  party,  scattered  and 
broken  by  Mr.  Chamberlain,  is  one  well  worth  working  for.  If  we 
fail  in  this  part  of  our  policy  we  shall  have  done  no  harm,  while  if  we 
succeed  we  shall  have  killed  Protection  for  the  next  fifty  years.  Per- 
sonally I  believe  we  shall  succeed  in  both  our  aims,  i.e.  in  maintaining 
Free  Trade  and  in  reuniting  the  Unionist  party  on  a  Free  Trade  basis. 
At  any  rate  it  will  be  far  easier  for  us  to  succeed  in  our  aim  of  reuniting 

B2 


240  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

the  party  on  a  Free  Trade  basis  if  we  make  the  defeat  of  the  Protec- 
tionists as  complete  as  possible  at  the  General  Election.  Therefore 
I  hold  that  the  more  strongly  and  earnestly  a  Unionist  Free  Trader 
desires  to  remain  a  Unionist  and  to  bring  about  the  ultimate  reunion 
of  his  party,  the  more  ardently  should  he  work  to  prevent  the  return  of 
Protectionists,  whether  Balfourites  or  Chamberlainites,  at  the  coming 
General  Election,  and  to  ensure  a  crushing  victory  for  Free  Trade. 
The  greater  the  defeat  of  the  Chamberlainite  and  Balfourite  policy 
the  more  certain  is  the  ultimate  reunion  of  the  party.  Therefore  the 
aim  of  Unionist  Free  Traders  should  be  to  oppose  strongly  candidates 
for  Parliament  who  will  not  pledge  themselves  to  withstand  the 
policy  of  Protection,  no  matter  under  what  apparently  amiable  and 
innocuous  guises  it  is  presented  to  them,  and  to  give  an  active  and 
effective  support  to  Free  Trade  candidates,  irrespective  of  party. 

It  is  clear  from  what  I  have  said  that  those  who  mean  to  remain 
both  Unionists  and  Free  Traders  must  lose  no  time  in  perfecting  their 
organisation  throughout  the  constituencies.  They  must  not  think 
that  the  duty  of  Unionist  Free  Traders  is  merely  to  save  the  seats  of 
the  patriotic  and  high-minded  men  who  sacrificed  their  political  and 
official  careers  rather  than  abandon  Free  Trade,  and  left  the  Ministry 
last  autumn.  All  that  is  possible  must  be  done  to  save  their  seats ; 
but  a  greater  and  even  more  important  object  is  to  secure  a  Unionist 
bodyguard  for  Free  Trade  in  every  constituency,  and  to  use  every 
endeavour  to  defeat  Protectionist  candidates  at  the  poll.  Our  ideal 
should  be  to  reduce  the  Protectionist  vote  in  the  next  House  of  Com- 
mons to  the  lowest  limits,  and  to  make  the  plebiscite  for  Free  Trade 
— for  such  the  next  General  Election  will  in  fact  be — as  overwhelming 
as  possible. 

IV 

Personally  I  have  no  doubt  that  the  organisation  of  the  Unionist 
Free  Traders  and  their  apparent  ability  to  turn  a  great  number  of 
elections  will  have  the  result  of  indirectly  modifying  the  views  of 
the  Liberal  candidates  on  many  important  political  questions.  That 
is,  the  existence  of  the  Unionist  Free  Traders  will  encourage  Liberal 
candidates  to  stand  up  against  the  faddists  and  extremists.  But 
though  I  strongly  hope  and  desire  that  this  result  may  be  indirectly 
produced  I  am  equally  strong  against  the  Unionist  Free  Traders 
officially  bargaining  with  the  Liberals  in  regard  to  the  views  of  their 
candidates  :  and  for  this  reason.  If  such  direct  bargaining  takes 
place  it  will  mean  that  the  Unionist  Free  Traders  will  to  a  certain 
extent  become  responsible  for  the  details  of  Liberal  policy  on  other 
matters  than  Free  Trade,  and  they  will  become  insensibly  drawn  into 
an  alliance  with  the  Liberals  so  close  as  to  suggest  fusion  and  amalga- 
mation. My  desire  is  that  no  such  intimate  alliance  should  take 
place,  but  merely  that  there  should  be  a  working  and  fighting  agree- 


1904  THE  UNIONIST  FBEE  TRADE BS  241 

ment,  i.e.  political  co-operation  for  a  specific  purpose,  that  of  defending 
Free  Trade.  We  want  to  remain  free  and  untrammelled  by  any  strict 
or  formal  alliance.  I  say  this  not  because  I  have  any  particular  horror 
of  a  great  part  of  the  Liberal  creed,  or  in  any  sense  or  form  regard 
Liberalism  as  the  unclean  thing.  I  say  it  because  I  hold  that  our 
object  and  duty  is  not  directly  to  modify  the  Liberal  policy  or  to  take 
any  responsibility  in  regard  to  it,  but  at  the  present  to  maintain  Free 
Trade  and  in  the  future  to  reunite  the  Unionist  party.  If  we  become 
in  any  way  responsible  for  Liberal  policy  this  task  may  be  rendered 
infinitely  harder  or  even  impossible.  Again,  if  as  a  party  we  should 
attempt  to  dictate  as  to  the  views  of  Liberal  candidates  instead  of 
merely  co-operating  heartily  with  them  on  one  issue,  they  in  return 
would  very  naturally  desire  to  dictate  the  policy  of  those  Free  Trade 
Unionists  who  will  be  returned  by  the  co-operation  of  Liberal  votes. 
We  must  not  interfere  with  them  or  they  with  us.  Each  must  trust 
the  other,  and  act  in  confidence  and  in  good  faith. 


I  hope  I  have  made  the  position  and  aims  and  objects  of  the  Unionist 
Free  Traders  clear.  To  state  them  once  more :  We  are  both  Unionists 
and  Free  Traders,  and  mean  that  both  the  Union  and  Free  Trade  shall 
prevail.  But  with  us  Free  Trade  is  no  mere  counsel  of  perfection,  no 
academic  opinion.  We  mean  to  make  our  Free  Trade  views  effective 
by  voting  and  working  for  Free  Traders  irrespective  of  party  wherever 
they  are  opposed  by  Protectionists.  That  is  our  immediate  object. 
Our  ultimate  object  is  equally  clear  and  equally  dictated  by  our 
determination  to  maintain  Free  Trade.  We  realise  that  unless  Free 
Trade  is  held  by  both  parties  in  the  State  to  be,  like  the  Monarchy, 
beyond  political  dispute,  Free  Trade  cannot  be  absolutely  safe.  There- 
fore we  mean  to  remain  Unionists  and  to  use  every  endeavour  to  reunite 
and  reconstruct  the  Unionist  party  on  a  Free  Trade  basis.  This,  we 
believe,  we  shall  be  able  to  accomplish  after  Mr.  Chamberlain  has  led 
the  Unionist  party  to  the  ruin  which,  unhappily,  is  inevitable  at  the 
next  General  Election.  The  position  of  the  Unionist  party  resembles 
one  of  those  surgical  cases  in  which  a  bone  which  has  been  broken 
and  badly  set  has  to  be  broken  again  before  it  can  be  properly  rejoined 
and  healed.  To  adopt  another  metaphor,  only  after  it  has  been  purged 
in  the  fires  of  a  General  Election  can  the  Unionist  party  be  reunited. 
The  more  complete  is  that  process  of  purgation  by  fire  the  stronger  will 
the  reunited  party  prove.  Therefore  the  Unionist  Free  Traders  can 
adopt  no  half-measures  and  no  timorous  courses,  but  both  in  the 
interests  of  Free  Trade  and  of  their  party  must  strike  with  all  their 
might  against  the  evils  of  Protection. 

J.  ST.  LOE  STRACHEY, 
Editor  of '  The  Spectator.' 


242  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 


THE  POPE  AND   CHURCH  MUSIC 

A   REJOINDER 

IT  was  inevitable  that  any  protest  against  the  Papal  motu  proprio  on 
the  subject  of  Church  music  should  arouse  the  displeasure  of  those 
who  regard  a  Papal  decree  as  being  something  more  than  an  expres- 
sion of  human  opinion  and  individual  intention.  It  was  inevitable, 
too,  that  musical  technicalities  should  be  introduced  into  a  question 
which,  if  examined  coldly  and  without  the  bias  from  which  neither 
the  professionally  religious  nor  the  professionally  artistic  can  be 
altogether  free,  resolves  itself  into  a  matter  of  personal  taste  and, 
I  may  add,  personal  temperament. 

I  may  perhaps  be  excused  if  I  regard  it  as  also  inevitable  that 
the  addition  of  the  words — '  a  Roman  Catholic  protest ' — to  the  heading 
of  my  article  in  the  June  number  of  this  Review  should  have  excited 
the  wrath  of  a  section  of  the  Roman  Catholic  body  whose  mouthpiece 
the  Rev.  Ethelred  Taunton  makes  himself  in  his  reply  to  me  under 
the  title,  suggestive  of  that  of  a  popular  play  now  running  at  a  London 
theatre,  The  Pope  and  the  Novelist. 

I  have  reason  to  believe  that  had  it  not  been  for  the  words — '  a 
Roman  Catholic  Protest' — which  appeared  as  a  sub-title  to  my  original 
article  Mr.  Taunton  and  others  of  his  communion  would  have  been 
content  to  regard  that  article  in  the  light  in  which  it  was  written. 
They  would  perhaps  have  recognised  the  fact  that  I  disclaimed  any 
intention  of  appealing  to  the  clerically  minded,  and  that  I  wrote 
merely  from  the  position,  as  it  were,  of  the  man  in  the  street,  who 
may  love  music  and  its  expression  without  being  an  expert  in  its 
science. 

I  feel  that  in  replying  to  Mr.  Taunton's  strictures  upon  the  effrontery 
of  a  novelist  presuming  to  criticise  the  action  of  a  Pope  I  am  some- 
what at  a  disadvantage,  inasmuch  as  I  am  replying,  not  to  a  Roman 
Catholic  layman,  but  to  a  Roman  Catholic  priest. 

Mr.  Taunton  in  his  article  bases  his  argument  against  the  justness 
of  my  e  protest '  largely  upon  personalities.  I  would  fain  have  kept 
such  matters  at  a  distance  as  being  neither  profitable,  relevant,  nor, 
I  would  add,  dignified.  He  alludes  to  me  as  a  bored  convert.  I 
frankly  admit  the  impeachment,  so  far  as  my  experiences  of  modern 


1904  THE  POPE  AND   CHURCH  MUSIC  243 

English  Roman  Catholicism  are  concerned ;  but  as  I  live  chiefly 
among  Continental  Catholics  I  am  happily  little  affected  by  the  ennui 
which  he  rightly  describes  me  as  feeling.  I  would  only  observe  that 
had  Mr.  Taunton  substituted  a  stronger  term  for  that  of  '  bored ' 
he  would  have  more  correctly  described  my  condition. 

Mr.  Taunton  goes  on  to  say,  with  a  touch  of  sacerdotalism  admir- 
ably in  harmony  with  the  times  of  St.  Gregory :  *  I  will  not  say  for  a 
moment  that  the  laity,  hereditary  Catholics  or  neophytes,  have  not 
got  their  rights,'  and  again :  '  While  I  have  sympathy  with  any  move- 
ment which  seeks  by  legitimate  methods  to  obtain  that  recognition 
of  the  rights  of  the  laity  which  the  Church  has  always  acknowledged, 
I  will  have  nothing  to  do  with  the  bored  convert  except  to  wish  that 
he  would  take  his  boredom  elsewhere.' 

I  do  not  forget  that  I  am  replying  to  a  priest,  and  I  am  happy 
if  I  have  afforded  Mr.  Taunton  an  opportunity  of  scoring  a  point  to 
his  credit  with  his  ecclesiastical  superiors  at  my  expense.  I  would 
remind  him,  however,  that  indifference  is  a  far  more  difficult  matter 
to  treat  than  boredom,  and  that  there  are  countless  Catholics  in  the 
world,  as  there  are  countless  Protestants,  who  remain  within  their 
respective  communions  merely  because  they  are  indifferent  to  priestly 
pretensions.  I  wish,  to  quote  Mr.  Taunton's  own  words,  to  do  my 
spiriting  gently,  and  I  trust  he  will  not  think  me  discourteous  towards 
his  order  if  I  suggest  that,  since  it  is  not  converts  only  who  are  bored, 
he  might  with  advantage  search  for  the  true  cause  of  the  boredom. 

I  will,  however,  pass  from  personal  matters  to  the  consideration 
of  Mr.  Taunton's  replies  to  my  definition  of  the  recent  Papal  edict  on 
Church  music  as  an  artistic  and  psychological  blunder.  Mr.  Taunton 
here  becomes  more  interesting,  inasmuch  as  he  is  expressing  his  views 
on  a  subject  which  must  appeal  to  many,  and  he  allows  himself  momen- 
tarily to  forget  my  unfortunate  individuality  in  his  defence  of  a  branch 
of  that  art  to  which  he  is  well  known  to  be  deeply  attached. 

Mr.  Taunton  reminds  me  that  I  have  made  an  admission — an 
admission  which  he  qualifies  as  being  unnecessary — to  the  effect  that 
I  am  no  musical  expert.  I  would  submit  that  in  this  fact  lies  the 
strength  of  my  argument.  I  have  entrenched  myself  behind  human 
nature,  as  the  man  in  the  street  has,  fortunately  for  human  progress, 
ever  entrenched  himself.  At  the  same  time  I  think  I  may  say  without 
undue  vanity  that  my  musical  education  has  not  been  wholly  neglected, 
and  that  music  to  me  has  ever  been  the  first  of  the  arts,  although  I 
cannot,  of  course,  meet  Mr.  Taunton  on  strictly  technical  ground. 

He  asserts  that  I  have  missed  the  true  gist  of  the  matter  ;  that  the 
spiritual  or  even  artistic  point  of  view  has  not  troubled  me  at  all ; 
and  that  I  have  forgotten  the  elementary  fact  that  music  was  made 
for  men,  and  not  men  for  music. 

I  agree  with  Mr.  Taunton  that  music  was  made  for  men ;  but 
does  he  not  forget  the  elementary  fact  that  all  men  are  not  priests; 


244  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

that  all  men  have  not  the  clerical  temperament ;  that  many,  nay, 
perhaps  the  majority  of  human  beings  are  emotional  rather  than 
genuinely  religious,  and  that  their  religion  can  only  be  stirred  through 
the  senses  ? 

I  am  aware  that  a  religion  which  is  of  the  senses  alone  is  regarded 
with  reasonable  distrust  by  those  whose  faith  rests  on  a  firmer  basis. 
Nevertheless — and  here  Mr.  Taunton  must  forgive  the  novelist — the 
majority  of  men  are  swayed  by  the  senses,  and  the  majority  of  men 
are  not  priests.  Pope  Pius  X.,  I  would  submit,  in  inculcating  the 
principle  that  all  ecclesiastical  music  should  be  modelled  as  nearly 
as  possible  to  the  Gregorian  form,  has  forgotten  this  fact,  and  Mr. 
Taunton  ignores  it. 

Mr.  Taunton  declares  that  I  have  altogether  misunderstood  or 
misrepresented  the  Pope's  attitude  towards  Church  music. 

Writing,  as  I  do,  with  his  Holiness's  '  Instruction '  before  me,  I 
must  affirm  that  I  have  done  neither  the  one  nor  the  other. 

Pius  X.  observes  that  it  is  fully  legitimate  to  lay  down  the  following 
rule  :  '  The  more  closely  a  composition  for  church  approaches  in  its 
movement,  inspiration,  and  savour  the  Gregorian  form,  the  more 
sacred  and  liturgical  it  becomes ;  and  the  more  out  of  harmony  it  is 
with  that  supreme  model,  the  less  worthy  is  it  of  the  temple.' 

And  again :  '  The  ancient  Gregorian  chant  must,  therefore,  be 
largely  restored  to  the  function  of  public  worship.' 

The  Pope  goes  on  to  state  that  the  qualities  possessed  by  the 
Gregorian  chant  are  also  possessed  by  the  classic  polyphony,  espe- 
cially that  of  the  Roman  school  as  represented  by  Pierluigi  da  Pales- 
trina.  This  classic  polyphony,  the  Holy  Father  observes,  agrees  so 
admirably  with  the  Gregorian  chant — the  supreme  model  of  all  sacred 
music — that  it  has  been  found  worthy  of  a  place  side  by  side  with  it 
in  the  more  solemn  functions  of  the  Church. 

I  can  assure  Mr.  Taunton,  and  others  of  my  Roman  Catholic  clerical 
critics  who  adopt  a  less  honourable  form  of  criticism  than  he,  that  I 
fully  understand  the  true  aim  and  scope  of  the  Pope's  juridical  code  of 
sacred  music,  and  I  think  that  the  clauses  from  which  I  have  quoted 
admit  of  no  misinterpretation.  It  is  idle  to  assert  that  Pius  X.  means 
one  thing  when  he  obviously  means  another,  and  Mr.  Taunton's 
quibble  about  the  Pope  not  confining  the  -music  of  the  Church  to  plain 
song,  '  as  one  would  think  from  Mr.  Bagot's  article,'  will  scarcely 
deceive  any  attentive  reader  of  the  Papal  molu  proprio.  If  modern 
music  is  admitted  at  all  into  the  offices  of  the  Church,  it  is  only  under 
such  stringent  conditions  as  to  make  it  almost  indistinguishable  from  the 
Gregorian  form  except  to  musical  experts,  who,  it  may  be  observed, 
are  not  so  numerous  as  Mr.  Taunton  seems  to  imagine. 

I  cannot,  of  course,  expect  to  convince  Mr.  Taunton  and  his  friends 
that  I  am  not  so  inartistic,  or  so  incapable  of  realising  that  music  has 
a  spiritual  side,  as  they  profess  to  believe.  The  compromising  words — 


1904  THE  POPE   AND   CHURCH  MUSIC  245 

'  a  Roman  Catholic  Protest ' — which  headed  my  first  article  have  clearly 
rendered  any  justification  in  their  eyes  of  my  position  impossible,  for 
reasons  to  which  I  shall  refer  hereafter. 

In  that  article  I  ventured  to  assert  that  the  Pope's  attempt  to 
enforce  the  universal  adoption  of  Gregorian,  plain  song,  or  the  classic 
polyphony  in  Roman  Catholic  places  of  worship  was  a  threefold 
blunder — artistic,  psychological,  and,  if  I  may  so  express  it,  diplo- 
matic. I  was  very  well  aware  that  such  a  statement  would  arouse 
the  wrath  of  the  sacristy,  but  I  must  frankly  own  to  indifference  on 
this  point.  I  expressly  stated  that  I  was  not  appealing  to  certain 
minds.  Nevertheless  the  sacristy  has  answered  me.  I  fear  that  I 
am  neither  convinced  by  its  arguments  nor  alarmed  at  its  anger. 
It  is  not  a  little  difficult  to  separate  Mr.  Taunton's  arguments  from 
his  personalities  in  his  article  entitled  The  Pope  and  the  Novelist,  but 
I  will  endeavour  to  deal  fairly  by  the  former,  both  from  his  point  of 
view  and  from  my  own  ;  with  the  latter,  as  they  are  couched  in  terms 
which  make  it  impossible  for  me  to  ignore  them,  I  propose  to  deal 
later  on  in  these  pages. 

Mr.  Taunton  observes  that  he  and  I  differ  fundamentally  on  the 
philosophy  of  sacred  music,  and  I  readily  admit  the  fact.  I  confess 
that,  in  common  with  a  vast  number  of  my  fellow  creatures  of  all 
nations,  I  regard  music,  whether  it  be  sacred  or  profane,  from  a 
broader  and  no  doubt  a  more  material  standpoint  than  that  of  the 
expert  or  the  religiously  minded.  If  music  be  an  art,  like  all  art,  it 
must  surely  be  progressive.  Mr.  Taunton  himself  unconsciously 
supplies  me  with  an  argument  to  illustrate  my  contention  that  the 
Pope's  action,  however  laudable  theoretically,  and  however  logical 
from  the  strictly  scientific  point  of  view,  is  an  offence  against  art. 

'  From  the  days  of  Gregory  I.  (604),  if  not  earlier,'  says  Mr.  Taunton, 
*  the  Popes  have  issued  decrees  on  the  subject  and  Councils  have 
legislated.'  If  I  am  not  mistaken,  Benedict  XIV.  issued  a  decree 
even  more  drastic  than  the  motu  proprio  of  Pius  X.  in  the  hopes  of 
'  reforming '  Church  music.  I  would  ask  Mr.  Taunton  with  whom 
lay  the  victory,  with  Popes  and  Councils,  or  with  the  mass  of  the  people 
whose  ideals  had  progressed  since  the  year  604,  and  whose  musical 
needs  had  developed  with  the  centuries  ? 

In  a  word,  artistic  progress  triumphed  against  the  ecclesiastical 
love  of  retrogression,  as  it  may  confidently  be  expected  to  triumph 
again  to-day. 

It  will,  of  course,  be  objected  that  corruption  and  decay,  rather 
than  artistic  progress,  was  the  result  of  ignoring  the  decrees  of  Popes 
and  Councils  to  which  Mr.  Taunton  alludes,  and  the  low  standard  of 
Church  music  in  Italy  and  Spain  will  be  pointed  to  as  an  example. 
I  submit — and  here  I  must  again  observe  that  I  am  not  appealing  to 
the  professionally  religious  or  to  the  musical  purist — that  there  may 
be  something  to  be  said  from  the  psychological  point  of  view  even  for 


246  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

the  profane  and  theatrical  music  in  Italian  churches  which  so  shocks 
Mr.  Taunton,  and  which  the  Abbe  Perosi  (for  Mr.  Taunton  is  in  error 
when  he  affirms  that  this  insipid  and  unoriginal  composer  had  no  hand 
in  the  Pope's  project)  and  Pius  X.  very  rightly  wish  to  reform. 

Mr.  Taunton  waxes  indignant  at  the  very  idea  of  defending  such 
inartistic  enormities  as  the  rendering  of  a  motif  from  the  Traviata  or 
similar  profane  music  during  a  Mass,  and  he  professes  to  believe  that 
I  defend  such  practices  from  an  '  artistic '  point  of  view  !  He  has 
either  not  read  my  article  attentively  or,  as  I  fear  is  more  likely,  in  his 
anxiety  to  please  those  who  had  decided  that  I  must  be  '  sat  upon ' 
he  has  preferred  to  place  a  false  construction  on  what  he  read.  I 
commented  upon  the  practice  of  adapting  light  opera  music  to  the 
Mass  purely  from  a  psychological  standpoint.  Mr.  Taunton,  by  the 
way,  jumps  at  an  unwarrantable  conclusion  when  he  argues  that  I 
heard  Bizet's  VArlesienne  from  a  shilling  front  seat  in  a  London 
sanctuary,  and  that  I,  therefore,  could  not  have  studied  the  faces  of 
the  congregation.  When  I  attend  a  Roman  Catholic  church  in 
England  I  sit  as  near  as  I  can  to  the  door,  lest  there  should  be  a 
sermon. 

To  return  to  my  argument  it  does  not  seem  to  strike  Mr.  Taunton 
and  the  Pope  that  human  beings  are  not  all  cast  in  the  clerical  mould, 
and  that  temperaments  differ  in  all  classes,  and  among  all  people. 
Mr.  Taunton,  to  quote  his  own  words,  is  proud  to  take  his  stand  as  a 
musician  by  the  side  of  the  fearless  Pius  X.,  who  recalls  us  to  a  better 
sense  of  true  art,  and  I  congratulate  him  on  taking  up  so  elevated  a 
position.  At  the  same  time  I  am  proud  to  stand  by  the  side  of  any 
Italian  peasant  whose  devotions  are  not  interfered  with  by  the  fact 
that  the  organist  is  rattling  out  an  operatic  melody.  Verdi's  music 
probably  appeals  to  the  spiritual  side  of  some  natures  quite  as  much 
as  '  classic  polyphony  '  does  to  those  of  Mr.  Taunton  and  Pope  Pius  X. 
We  do  not  all  want  to  be  recalled  to  the  spiritual  and  mental  conditions 
of  the  sixth  century,  nor  even  to  those  of  the  fifteenth  century. 

I  feel  that  I  must  not  insist  too  much  upon  this  point,  or  my  Roman 
Catholic  critics  will  accuse  me  of  upholding  the  performance  of  drinking 
songs  during  Mass. 

Mr.  Taunton  makes  the  very  surprising  statement  that  music  by 
itself  is  vague  unless  it  has  associations.  If  it  be  not  too  presumptuous 
to  differ  from  a  musical  expert,  I  would  reply  that,  as  a  humble  lover 
of  Beethoven,  Schubert,  Wagner,  and  many  smaller  masters,  I  have 
not  found  this  to  be  the  case.  It  can  scarcely  be  necessary  to  inform 
Mr.  Taunton  that  I  am  not  a  religious  person  ;  it  is,  I  suppose,  merely 
my  novelist's  imagination  that  makes  me  prefer  a  movement  from  a 
Beethoven  symphony  as  a  spiritual  and  intellectual  aid  to  all  the 
plain  song  or  classic  polyphony  ever  chanted  by  priests. 

I  have  already  stated  in  my  first  article  my  reasons  for  believing 
the  recent  action  of  Pope  Pius  X.  to  be  a  triple  blunder,  and  I  need 


1904  THE  POPE  AND   CHUBGH  MUSIC  247 

not,  therefore,  repeat  them.  Mr.  Taunton  has  declared  that  I  have 
misunderstood  the  Pope's  instructions.  I  contend  that  I  have  not 
done  so,  and  that  if  the  obvious  intentions  of  his  Holiness  are  loyally 
carried  out,  music  specially  composed  for  the  Church  by  great  masters 
can  never  again  be  heard ;  that  a  large  quantity  of  music  of  minor 
artistic  value  which  yet  appeals  to  thousands  of  people  of  all  classes 
is  banished ;  and  that  the  complete  exclusion  of  instrumental  music 
except  under  very  special  and  restricted  conditions  is  to  be  deplored. 

Mr.  Taunton's  arguments,  as  I  have  said,  do  not  convince  me, 
while  his  assertion  that  I  have  misunderstood  the  Pope's  intentions 
is  manifestly  absurd.  The  Pope  speaks  too  plainly  to  be  misunder- 
stood. We  are,  as  I  remarked  in  my  previous  article,  confronted  by 
another  instance  of  the  perpetual  struggle  on  the  part  of  the  priest- 
hood to  force  the  world  to  move  backward.  Let  Mr.  Taunton  honestly 
confess  the  truth.  He  must  admit  that,  when  all  is  said  and  done, 
there  must  always  be  those  to  whom  the  forms  of  music  made  obli- 
gatory by  the  Pope  appeal,  and  those  to  whom  they  are  a  weariness 
to  the  spirit  and  a  hindrance  rather  than  an  aid  to  devotion.  The 
latter  may  not  be,  indeed,  I  am  sure  that  they  are  not,  '  musicians ' 
in  the  technical  sense,  which  evidently  alone  commands  Mr.  Taunton's 
sympathies  ;  but  they  exist,  and  exist  in  very  large  numbers  in  every 
country.  So  large  a  body  are  they,  indeed,  that  their  opposition  has 
stultified  those  former  decrees  of  Popes  and  Councils  to  which  Mr. 
Taunton  alludes.  In  whatever  other  ways  I  may  be  misunderstood, 
I  do  not  wish  to  be  misunderstood  on  this  point.  I  do  not,  as  Mr. 
Taunton  would  infer,  uphold  from  an  artistic  point  of  view  the  use 
of  that  theatrical  music  which  the  Pope  rightly  condemns.  I  merely 
observe  that  the  Pope  and  his  advisers  have  ignored  the  fact  that  all 
men  are  not  clerics,  and  that  few  of  us,  save  those  who  are  clerics, 
wish  to  revert  to  the  sixth  century.  However  disagreeable  it  may 
be  to  Mr.  Taunton  and  his  supporters,  the  fact  remains  that  thousands 
of  Roman  Catholics  in  this  country  and  millions  on  the  Continent  and 
in  America  regret  and  deplore  the  Pope's  action.  Many  that  I  have 
spoken  to  content  themselves  with  shrugging  their  shoulders  and 
declaring  their  intention  of  only  attending  Low  Masses  so  soon  as  the 
Papal  order  is  put  into  force.  No  doubt  this  attitude,  were  it  not  for 
diminished  offertories,  will  be  more  pleasing  to  the  English  Roman 
Catholic  clergy  than  a  '  protest '  which  might  appear  to  question  their 
dearly  loved  '  authority.' 

I  now,  with  considerable  reluctance,  pass  to  the  consideration  of 
Mr.  Taunton's  personal  attacks  upon  myself.  I  can  assure  him  that 
I  feel  no  resentment  on  account  of  them,  for  I  am  fully  aware  that  in 
making  them  he  is  only  the  mouthpiece  of  his  superiors,  who  have 
long  been  unwilling  openly  to  attack  me  lest  by  so  doing  they  should 
draw  attention  to  my  writings.  I  can  but  apologise  to  my  readers 
for  touching  upon  personal  matters ;  but  those  who  have  read  Mr. 


248  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTUBY  Aug. 

Taunton's  article  in  the  July  number  of  this  Keview  will,  I  think, 
recognise  that  the  responsibility  for  their  introduction  does  not  rest 
with  me. 

Mr.  Taunton  prefaces  his  criticism  of  my  previous  article  in  this 
Review  by  examining  what  he  calls  my  '  position.'  I  am  grateful 
to  him  for  having  done  so,  for  he  has  afforded  me  an  opportunity  of 
stating  publicly  what  it  is  of  little  use  to  state  in  private.  He  resents 
the  fact  that  my  previous  paper  bore  the  sub-title  of  '  A  Roman 
Catholic  Protest.'  He  states  that  I  have  thrown  myself  '  heart  and 
soul  into  the  Quirinal  party.'  I  pass  over,  as  unnecessary  to  notice 
here,  other  remarks  which  appear  to  me  to  be  irrelevant,  and  to  have 
been  written  more  with  a  view  to  please  others  than  to  damage  me. 

Mr.  Taunton  and  his  supporters  must  now  forgive  me  if  I  examine 
my  '  position '  from  another  point  of  view,  and  I  will  do  it  as  briefly 
as  possible. 

Some  years  ago,  in  1899,  I  published  an  article  in  the  Nuova 
Antologia  entitled  '  L'Inghilterra  si  fara  cattolica  ?  '  Although  it 
touched  upon  no  theological  question,  and  was  of  a  purely  speculative 
nature,  my  statements  regarding  the  inaccuracy  and  exaggeration  in 
the  returns  periodically  sent  by  Cardinal  Vaughan  to  Rome  as  to  the 
numbers  and  importance  of  the  converts  received  into  the  Church, 
coupled  with  the  fact  that  the  article  attracted  considerable  attention, 
gave  great  offence  to  the  English  Roman  Catholic  party.  Since  that 
occurrence,  although  I  have  studiously  avoided  attacking  any  dogma 
or  article  of  faith,  with  a  single  exception,  of  the  Church,  I  have  been 
persistently  accused  of  doing  so.  I  have  written  from  a  political  and  a 
social  standpoint  only  against  the  temporal  pretensions  of  the  Vatican 
and  in  favour  of  United  Italy.  The  expressions  put  into  the  mouths  of 
characters  in  my  novels  have  been  asserted  to  be  my  own  views  !  An 
obviously  inartistic  and  unfair  way  of  judging  a  writer  of  fiction. 
Were  any  proof  needed  of  the  bitterness  of  the  English  Roman  Catholic 
body  as  a  whole  towards  any  Roman  Catholic  differing  from  the 
Vatican  politically,  Mr.  Taunton's  remarks  as  to  my  '  position ' 
would  amply  provide  it.  3 

It  is  true  that  I  am  a  '  convert.'  But  in  view  of  the  fact  that  it 
has  been  repeatedly  asserted  by  certain  prominent  English  Roman 
Catholics  that  I  only  became  a  '  convert '  four  or  five  years  ago  in 
order  to  make  '  copy '  out  of  the  Roman  Church,  I  take  this  oppor- 
tunity of  observing  that  I  joined  that  Church  three-and- twenty 
years  ago. 

Many  reasons  have  been  assigned  to  explain  why  I,  an  English 
Roman  Catholic,  should,  as  Mr.  Taunton  expresses  it,  have  thrown 
myself  heart  and  soul  into  the  Quirinal  party  and  written  against 
the  temporal  policy  of  the  Vatican.  I  proposed  for  the  hand  of  a 
daughter  of  a  well-known  '  black '  house  in  Rome  and  was  refused, 
and  therefore  wrote  against  the  '  black '  party  out  of  pique.  I  may 


1904  THE  POPE  AND   CHURCH  MUSIC  249 

here  observe  that  it  has  never  been  my  misfortune  to  be  refused  by 
any  Roman  lady,  '  black  '  or  otherwise,  or  by  her  family ;  and  also 
that,  under  somewhat  exceptional  circumstances  not  often  enjoyed  by 
a  foreigner,  I  made  a  study  of  the  political  and  social  questions  relating 
to  Vaticanism  for  seven  years  before  venturing  to  write  about  them. 
I  was  the  tool  of  unscrupulous  anti-clerical  journalists  ;  I  abused  my 
religion  in  order  to  make  money.  These  and  many  other  equally 
fantastic  and  dishonourable  reasons  have  been  advanced  and  widely 
circulated,  I  regret  to  say,  by  English  Vaticanists,  who  well  know  that 
they  were  unfounded,  in  the  hopes  of  gradually  discrediting  my 
literary  work  with  the  public ;  and  a  well-known  '  converted '  ecclesi- 
astic has  not  been  wanting  to  take  an  active  and  untiring  part  in 
disseminating  them. 

I  am,  as  I  have  said  before,  grateful  to  Mr.  Taunton  for  having 
been  more  courageous  and  more  honourable  in  his  methods  than  some 
of  his  supporters,  and  for  having  given  me  an  opportunity  of 
publicly  explaining  my  '  position,'  and  of  denying  certain  statements 
circulated  with  no  other  object  than  to  damage  my  reputation  as  a 
writer.  I  hope  he  will  understand  that  I  respect  an  open  attack, 
however  bitterly  it  may  be  made.  What  I  cannot  respect  is  the 
system  of  dealing  secret  blows  on  the  part  of  those  who  well  knew  my 
political  views  long  before  I  put  them  into  print,  and  who  have  until 
now  been  afraid  to  answer  me  in  a  straightforward  manner. 

In  none  of  my  writings  have  I  ever  attacked  a  dogma  or  article 
of  faith  of  the  Roman  Church,  with  the  single  exception  of  the  dogma 
of  infallibility,  which  has  been  attacked  by  some  of  the  greatest 
Catholic  writers  on  the  Continent,  and  which  may  be  said  to  be  at 
least  as  much  a  dogma  of  political  as  of  religious  import.  My  per- 
sonal belief  or  disbelief  in  religious  doctrines  I  have  kept  rigidly  to 
myself  as  being  altogether  outside  my  sphere  to  discuss  in  print.  In 
my  Roman  novels  British  convert  fanaticism  is,  it  is  true,  held  up  to 
ridicule  and  compared  with  the  moderate  and  unaggressive  attitude 
of  the  vast  majority  of  Continental  Catholics ;  but  my  English  Roman 
Catholic  critics  are  very  well  aware  that  I  have  not  attacked  any 
definite  dogma,  except  the  one  to  which  I  have  already  alluded.  I 
imagine  that  they  would  have  been  better  pleased  with  me  had  I 
done  so. 

Mr.  Taunton  and  others  resent  my  application  of  the  term  Roman 
Catholic  to  myself  or  to  any  protest  penned  by  me.  I  would  ask 
them  on  what  grounds  they  do  so. 

If  the  authorities  of  the  Roman  Church  disapprove  of  my  attitude 
from  a  dogmatic  point  of  view  an  obvious  course  is  open  to  them. 
Until  this  course  is  adopted  I  am,  I  submit,  at  least  officially  a  member 
of  the  Roman  Church,  and  as  such  I  have  as  good  a  right  to  qualify 
myself  as  a  Roman  Catholic  as  any  other  English  convert,  layman  or 
ecclesiastic. 


250  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 


•o- 


I  regret  to  disappoint  Mr.  Taunton  and  his  party,  but  they  must 
not  be  surprised  if  I  decline  to  be  silenced  by  cheap  ridicule.  There 
are  many,  as  good  Catholics  as  they,  who  are  honest  enough  to  dis- 
tinguish between  opposition  to  Vaticanism  as  a  political  and  social 
power  and  open  opposition  to  the  Church  as  a  religious  body. 

As  I  have  already  pointed  out,  a  man,  even  if  he  have  the  mis- 
fortune to  be  a  novelist,  must  either  be  in  the  Church  of  Rome  or  out 
of  it.  There  are  only  two  methods  by  which  he  can  forfeit  the  right 
officially  to  define  himself  as  a  Roman  Catholic — namely,  voluntary 
retirement  or  formal  excommunication.  I  confess  that  the  prospect 
of  the  latter  does  not  arouse  my  superstitious  fears  sufficiently  to 
tempt  me  to  discount  its  terrors  by  taking  the  former  step,  much  as 
my  doing  so  would  gratify  my  critics.  The  accident  of  having  been 
born  in  the  nineteenth  instead  of  the  sixth  or  even  the  fifteenth 
century  robs  the  priestly  anathema  of  the  terrors  with  which  it  might 
otherwise  have  inspired  me.  I  fear  that  Mr.  Taunton  will  attribute 
this  to  defective  imagination  on  the  part  of  a  novelist  who  has  ventured 
to  criticise  the  musical  programme  of  a  Pope. 

RICHARD  BAGOT. 


1904 


TO    EXPLORE    ARABIA    BY  BALLOON 


THE  object  of  the  present  paper  is  to  indicate  the  reasonable  practi- 
cability of  investigating,  at  inconsiderable  risk  to  human  life,  a  land 
which,  hitherto  bidding  defiance  to  the  boldest  explorers,  has  through 
all  time  remained  untraversed  by  civilised  man,  yet  one  to  which 
perhaps  before  all  other  lands  of  the  wondrous  East  there  attaches 
more  absorbing  interest,  more  of  marvel  and  mystery,  and  which 
moreover  may,  for  all  that  has  been  inferred  to  the  contrary,  be 
found  to  yield  the  richest  prizes  of  discovery.  The  country  to  which 
we  refer  is  Central  Arabia,  and  the  mode  of  approach  that  we  advo- 
cate is  one  which,  while  it  appeals  to  a  spirit  of  highest  enterprise, 
involves  no  mere  wild  or  untried  scheme.  The  true  roadway  across 
the  barrier  presented  not  only  by  the  physical  difficulties  of  a  water- 
less wilderness  but  also  by  the  hostility  of  native  fanaticism  is,  we 
are  convinced,  not  by  the  desert  but  by  sky.  And  here  it  cannot  be 
said  that  such  previous  trials  and  experience  as  we  have  to  judge 
from  offer  any  really  adverse  argument.  Let  us  carefully  examine 
the  case  as  we  find  it. 

The  lamentable  termination  of  Andree's  dash  to  the  Pole  may 
have,  indeed,  for  a  while  diverted  the  public  mind  from  the  con- 
templation of  that  perfectly  legitimate  and  logical  application  of 
modern  science  and  skill — the  exploration  of  inaccessible  tracts  of  the 
globe  by  balloon.  It  might,  indeed,  seem  as  though  for  the  present 
the  world  is  standing  watching  the  modern  airship,  and  the  yet  more 
recently  conceived  though  somewhat  visionary  flying-machine,  in  the 
hope  that  these  will  prove  capable  of  achieving  what  the  balloon  has 
as  yet  failed  to  accomplish.  Yet  the  results  of  past  months  go  to 
prove  that  we  cannot  hope,  at  least  until  great  advances  have  been 
made,  that  any  form  of  aerial  motor  will  be  able,  holding  a  definite 
course  of  its  own,  to  contend  with  the  streams  and  storms  which 
prevail  but  a  little  way  above  the  earth's  surface. 

On  the  other  hand,  it  should  on  no  account  be  forgotten  that  the 
balloon  in  Andree's  hands,  and  in  his  peculiar  circumstances,  cannot 
be  said  to  have  had  a  reasonably  fair  trial.  Owing  to  the  exigencies 
of  the  case,  the  balloon,  which  seems  after  all  to  have  hardly  been  the 
best  for  the  exceptional  purpose  in  hand,  had  to  be  kept  inflated  for 

251 


252  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

nearly  three  weeks,  while  the  intrepid  navigators  were  waiting  for 
their  wind,  during  all  which  time  leakage  was  going  on  at  a  known 
and  very  appreciable  rate  ;  and  thus  it  came  about  that  in  the  end 
Andree  was  constrained  to  commit  himself  to  a  wind  that  was  not 
wholly  favourable.  To  have  been  entirely  in  the  right  direction  it 
should  have  been  due  south,  whereas  on  the  eve  of  starting  it  veered 
somewhat  west  of  south,  and,  with  fatal  allurement '  whistling  through 
the  woodwork  of  the  shed  and  flapping  the  canvas,'  urged  the  voyagers 
prematurely  to  their  ill-fated  venture.  And  other  conditions  must 
have  told,  and  perhaps  more  seriously,  against  the  success  of  that 
hazardous  expedition.  The  extremely,  low  temperature  near  the  Pole 
would  not  only  cause  shrinkage  of  the  gas,  but  also  a  constant  deposi- 
tion of  the  weight  of  condensed  moisture,  if  not  of  snow,  on  the  surface 
of  the  balloon. 

But  over  and  above  all,  the  mode  adopted  for  the  controlling  of 
the  balloon  would  be  very  largely  against  the  possibility  of  a  pro- 
longed voyage.  This  mode,  it  will  be  remembered,  was  by  means  of 
a  trail  rope  dragging  on  the  ice,  which,  so  long  as  it  was  in  contact 
with  earth",  would  render  a  rudder  sail  operative  to  a  small  extent. 
Its  very  efficiency,  however,  depended  on  its  actually  slowing  down 
the  speed  of  the  balloon,  while  it  is  well  known  to  all  aeronauts  of 
experience  that  it  is  an  exceedingly  difficult  manoeuvre  to  keep  a 
trail  rope  dragging  on  the  ground  if  it  is  desired  to  prevent  collision 
with  the  earth,  on  the  one  hand,  or,  on  the  other  hand,  to  avoid  loss 
of  gas,  inasmuch  as  a  slight  increase  of  temperature,  or  drying  off  of 
condensed  moisture,  may — indeed,  is  sure  after  a  while  to — lift  the 
rope  off  the  ground,  in  which  case  the  balloon,  rising  into  upper  levels, 
is  liable  to  be  borne  away  on  currents  which  may  be  from  almost 
any  direction,  and  of  which  the  observer  below  may  have  no  cognis- 
ance. Thus  it  will  have  to  be  acknowledged  that  Andree  set  himself 
a  task  of  great  difficulty,  in  which  the  chances  were  largely  against 
him ;  yet,  in  spite  of  all  we  learn  from  a  message  recovered  from  a 
carrier  pigeon  that  at  the  end  of  forty-eight  hours  the  voyagers  were 
full  of  hope,  with  their  aerial  vessel  still  going  strong,  and  maintaining 
with  good  promise  what  must  certainly  have  proved  to  be  the  longest 
sky  journey  in  time  of  any  yet  made  on  our  planet. 

But  let  us  now  turn  to  the  possibilities  of  balloon  travel  under 
practicable  and  altogether  more  favourable  circumstances,  where 
climate,  instead  of  being  opposed,  would  be  strongly  in  the  balloon's 
favour,  and  where  the  utmost  advantage  could  be  taken  of  the  winds, 
not  as  they  travel  more  sluggishly  near  the  earth's  surface,  but  as 
they  blow  in  strength  in  the  free  heavens  aloft. 

America  may  fairly  claim  to  have  been  the  first  to  furnish  an 
aerial  explorer  of  the  first  rank  as  bold  and  enterprising  as  he  was 
confident,  who  offered,  as  far  back  as  fifty  years  ago,  to  vindicate 
the  capability  of  the  balloon  to  accomplish  exploration  of  the  globe. 


1904        TO  EXPLORE  ARABIA   BY  BALLOON          253 

His  project  was  to  make  the  transit  of  the  Atlantic  by  a  purely 
scientific  method  of  aerial  navigation  which  he  himself  conceived,  and 
the  soundness  of  which  is  upheld  by  the  leading  meteorologists  of 
to-day.  It  was  in  1843  that  John  Wise  wrote  to  the  Lancaster  In- 
telligencer : 

Having  from  a  long  experience  in  aeronautics  been  convinced  that  a  constant 
and  regular  current  of  air  is  blowing  at  all  times  from  west  to  east,  with  a 
velocity  of  from  twenty  to  forty  and  even  sixty  miles  an  hour,  according  to  its 
height  from  the  earth,  and  having  discovered  a  composition  which  renders  silk 
or  muslin  impervious  to  hydrogen  gas,  so  that  a  balloon  may  be  kept  afloat  for 
many  weeks,  I  feel  confident  that  with  these  advantages  a  trip  across  the 
Atlantic  will  not  be  attended  with  as  much  real  danger  as  by  the  common  mode 
of  transition. 

Wise  further  specified  that  the  requisite  balloon  should  be  of  a 
hundred  feet  diameter,  and  twenty  thousand  pounds  lifting  power, 
and  were  such  a  craft  provided  him  he  announced  his  readiness  to 
attempt  the  proposed  venture. 

Had  this  enterprising  offer  been  taken  up  and  successfully  carried 
through,  it  cannot  be  doubted  that  there  would  be  fewer  untravelled 
and  unexploited  regions  of  the  globe  than  there  are  to-day.  The  mere 
crossing  of  the  Atlantic  on  the  back  of  the  west  wind  would  have 
added  nought  to  our  geographical  knowledge,  but  it  would  have 
proved  the  possibility  of  utilising  the  same  westerly  wind  drift — 
which  we  have  shortly  to  consider — to  reconnoitre  untrodden  tracts, 
more  particularly  on  the  great  desert  belt  of  the  earth,  in  compara- 
tive safety,  at  a  relatively  trifling  cost,  with  great  expedition  withal, 
and  yet  with  full  leisure  to  make  notes  by  the  way,  as  also  to  sketch 
or  photograph,  not  a  mere  track  only  as  seen  by  a  weary  traveller 
from  the  height  of  a  camel's  back,  but  a  broad  tract  with  a  practicable 
horizon  of  near  one  hundred  miles  on  either  side. 

Now,  among  eminent  meteorologists  there  is  a  general  agreement 
of  opinion  as  to  such  a  prevalence  of  westerly  winds  aloft  as  would 
well  serve  the  purpose  of  the  aeronaut  Arabian  explorer.  Ferrel, 
having  shown  in  his  practical  treatise  that  strong  wind  currents  from 
the  west  are  in  general  required  by  theoretical  considerations,  goes 
on  to  say  that 

any  one  of  ordinary  observing  habits  could  scarcely  live  a  week  upon  the 
earth  without  discovering  from  the  motions  of  the  clouds,  and  especially  the 
very  high  cirrus  clouds,  that  the  general  tendency  of  the  air  above  is  towards 
the  east. 

Again,  Espy  says  : 

I  have  found  the  true  cirrus  cloud  to  average  scarcely  once  a  year  from  any 
eastern  direction,  and  when  they  do  come  from  that  direction  it  is  only  when 
there  is  a  storm 'of  uncommon  violence  in  the  east.  Mr.  Ley  also,  in  his 
numerous  observations  of  the  cirrus  clouds,  almost  universally  found  them'to 
have  a  motion  towards  the  east  from  which  they  rarely  deviated. 

VOL.  LVI — No.  330  S 


254  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTUEY  Aug. 

Observations  of  the  directions  of  clouds  at  Zi-ka-wei,  31°  12' 
N.  lat.,  121°  26'  E.  long.,  and  again  at  Colonia  Tover,  Venezuela, 
lat.  10°  26',  indicate  that  the  principal  component  of  motion  above 
is  an  eastern  one. 

But  there  are  other  indications  of  the  drift  of  upper  currents 
"besides  that  afforded  by  visible  clouds.  Thus  Ferrel  adduces  as  facts 
of  striking  significance  : 

On  the  1st  of  May,  1812,  the  island  of  Barbadoes  was  suddenly  obscured  by 
a  shower  of  ashes  from  an  eruptive  volcano  of  St.  Vincent,  West  Indies,  more 
than  a  hundred  miles  to  the  westward.  Also  on  the  20th  of  January,  1835,  the 
volcano  of  Coseguina,  Central  America,  lying  in  the  belt  of  the  north-easterly 
trade  winds,  sent  forth  great  quantities  of  lava  and  ashes,  and  the  latter  were 
borne  in  a  direction  just  contrary  to  that  of  the  surface  winds,  and  lodged  in 
the  island  of  Jamaica,  800  miles  to  the  E.N.E. 

With  regard  to  the  volcanic  eruption  of  the  island  of  Sumbawa, 
about  two  hundred  miles  east  of  Java,  Lyell  says  :  '  On  the  side  of 
Java  the  ashes  were  carried  to  the  distance  of  three  hundred  miles, 
and  two  hundred  and  seventeen  miles  towards  Celebes.'  Some 
of  the  finest  particles,  says  Mr.  Crawford,  were  transported  to  the 
islands  of  Amboyna  and  Banda,  which  last  is  about  eight  hundred 
miles  from  the  site  of  the  volcano,  although  the  south-east  monsoon 
was  then  at  its  height.  According  to  Mr.  Forbes,  the  dust  cloud 
from  the  eruption  of  Krakatoa  was  carried  on  the  high  winds  to  no 
less  than  twelve  hundred  miles  eastward. 

No  less  convincing  is  the  evidence  of  the  winds  as  actually  en- 
countered on  lofty  mountains.  Leopold  von  Buch  says,  with  regard 
to  the  Peak  of  Teneriffe  :  '  It  is  hard  to  find  any  account  of  an  ascent 
of  the  peak  in  which  the  strong  west  wind  which  has  been  met  with 
on  the  summit  has  not  been  mentioned.'  Again,  on  Pike's  Peak,  the 
observations  of  the  Signal  Service,  during  ten  years,  show  the  wind 
to  blow  very  constantly  towards  a  direction  somewhat  north  of  east. 
So,  from  the  top  of  Mount  Washington,  Loomis  found  the  resultant 
direction  of  the  wind  to  be  west  by  north.  So,  again,  at  Mount 
Alibut,  two  hundred  miles  west  of  Irkutsk,  and  over  seven  thousand 
feet  high,  a  very  constant  and  strong  W.N.W.  wind  is  observed. 

And  it  should  be  noted  that  it  is  when  we  approach  nearer  to 
equatorial  latitudes  that  we  find  greater  regularity  in  the  winds,  even 
such  as  blow  at  lower  levels.  It  is  a  well-known  fact  that  over  parts 
of  the  Australian  wilds  there  are  prevalent  upper  winds  from  the 
north-west.  Enduring  westerly  winds  blow  across  Peru  and  Brazil ; 
while  undoubtedly  across  Thibet  powerful  and  long-lasting  gales, 
possibly  connected  with  the  monsoons,  are  the  heritage  of  the  country. 
Equally  Js  this  the  case  with  respect  to  the  seaboard  of  Asia,  of  which 
we  have  particularly  to  speak,  due  to  a  cause  which  at  least  is  un- 
varying— namely,  the  great  rarefaction  of  the  atmosphere  over  the 
centre  of  that  continent.  It  is  possible  to  prophesy  almost  to  the 


1901        TO  EXPLORE  ARABIA   BY  BALLOON         255 

inside  of  a  week  as  to  the  coining  of  the  south-west  monsoon.  And  in 
all  cases  when  we  pass  beyond  these  surface  winds  into  the  upper 
currents  we  find  these  currents  are  fast,  an  estimate  of  their  speed 
being  deducible  from  the  general  law  that  the  velocity  of  currents 
increases  from  the  lowest  to  the  highest  clouds  at  the  rate  of  about 
three  miles  an  hour  for  each  thousand  feet  of  height. 

Probably  there  is  no  unexplored  tract  of  the  earth  better  adapted 
for  an  initial  trial,  or  more  likely  to  yield  interesting  results  to  an 
aerial  traveller,  than  the  heart  of  the  great  Arabian  Peninsula.  The 
prospects  of  discovering  productive  regions  hitherto  unknown  by  such 
a  survey  will  be  discussed  in  due  place,  while  the  comparative  certainty 
with  which  the  proposed  transit  of  the  country  could  be  effected  can 
need  little  insisting  on.  The  writer  has  learnt  from  veteran  officers 
of  the  P.  and  0.  service  that  from  west  to  east  across  Arabia,  as  far 
as  indications  go,  there  is  every  probability  of  finding  a  favouring 
wind,  and  one  persistently  blowing  overhead,  if  the  right  time  of 
year  be  chosen.  Moreover,  Mr.  D.  G.  Hogarth,  whom,  as  a  recent  and 
reliable  authority,  I  shall  have  to  quote  farther,  states,  from  copious 
information,  that  the  tract  from  the  desert  of  Sinai  to  the  centre  of 
the  Arabian  peninsula  '  is  swept  by  an  eternally  westerly  wind,  which 
keeps  the  Libyan  sands  ever  moving  towards  the  Nefud.' 

This  is  encouraging  information,  and  if  we  may  assume  that  a 
choice  of  starting  ground  anywhere  along  the  length  of  the  Red  Sea, 
and  as  far  as  Aden,  is  at  the  option  of  the  aeronaut,  then  the  journey, 
with  only  a  moderately  fast  wind,  does  not  appear  very  formidable. 

A  few  principal  routes  work  out  somewhat  thus.  Starting  from 
Aden,  the  Persian  Gulf  could  be  reached  by  balloon  in  nine  hundred 
miles.  From  a  point  a  little  below  Mecca  the  breadth  of  the  country 
could  be  crossed  with  a  W.S.W.  wind  in  seven  hundred  miles,  as 
equally  from  a  point  above  Mecca,  while  from  the  first  of  these  places, 
with  a  due  west  wind,  the  coast  could  be  reached  in  about  a  thousand 
miles,  and  from  the  latter  in  eight  hundred  miles.  With  a  north  or 
south  wind  an  important  section  of  the  peninsula  could  be  traversed 
in  five  hundred  miles,  while  from  Mascat  a  yet  shorter  but  service- 
able voyage  might  be  carried  out. 

It  will  be  seen  that  the  Persian  Gulf  offers  peculiar  facilities  for 
the  ressue  of  the  balloon  at  the  termination  of  its  voyage  ;  and  the 
nature  and  conditions  of  the  task  before  the  balloonist  are  the  reverse 
of  discouraging,  as  an  impartial  consideration  will  show ;  his  special 
mode  of  travel,  as  compared  with  others,  having  distinct  and  all- 
important  advantages. 

When  a  vessel  is  frozen  in,  her  limit  is  already  reached  ;  when  the 
last  camel  is  down,  the  traveller  must  take  his  final  and  hopeless 
survey  ;  but  the  resources  belonging  to  the  balloonist  are  more  elastic 
and  more  reliable.  If  the  wind  before  which  he  drifts  is  inadequate 
or  contrary,  it  is  within  his  power  to  seek  other  altitudes,  with  the 

s  2 


256  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

strong  probability  of  meeting  with  other  currents ;  while  the  pro- 
longation of  his  travel  is  simply  a  question  of  initial  cost  and  cubic 
capacity.  When  Count  de  la  Vaulx  landed  in  Poland  he  had  still  a 
large  quantity  of  ballast  remaining,  and  it  was  a  debated  point  with 
him  whether  he  should  not  add  to  his  splendid  achievement  that  of 
the  further  crossing  of  a  desolate  Russian  steppe. 

Coming  now  to  the  consideration  of  practical  results  which  might 
be  hoped  for,  and  at  the  same  time  of  the  utter  hopelessness  of 
obtaining  such  results  by  any  other  means  under  political  and  physical 
difficulties  at  present  existing,  I  may  quote  some  recent  and  very 
valuable  notes  which  have  been  generously  supplied  me  by  an  accom- 
plished engineer  and  traveller  whose  knowledge  and  experience  can 
be  second  to  none. 

Colonel  A.  T.  Fraser,  C.E.,  in  a  paper  read  before  the  Society  of 
Arts  in  1895,  advocated  the  construction  of  a  railway  across  Arabia 
at  the  30th  Parallel,  and  a  few  years  later  went  to  Akabah  to  deter- 
mine where  such  a  railway  should  cross  the  valley  previous  to  entering 
Arabia,  which  he  considered  the  chief  engineering  difficulty.  It  may 
be  seen  from  any  good  map  that  this  proposed  line  practically  marks 
the  easiest  possible  route  across  the  country,  as  also  that  where 
climatic  conditions,  as  judged  by  the  evidences  of  habit  ability,  would 
be  least  severe. 

Colonel  Fraser,  then,  learning  that  Egyptian  authorities  could  not 
get  him  Turkish  permission,  proceeded  to  Jerusalem,  whence  he  was 
allowed  to  go  to  Maan  and  the  30th  Parallel,  the  Turks,  however, 
declaring  they  could  not  let  him  go  more  than  one  march  south  of 
that,  or  into  the  Akabah  Pass,  on  any  consideration.  It  ended  in 
their  granting  him  the  run  of  Mount  Hor  for  the  sake  of  making 
observations,  and  Colonel  Fraser,  taking  a  small  camp,  remained  two 
nights ;  but  the  Bedouins  saw  his  lights,  and  there  were  signs  that  it 
would  have  been  unsafe  to  stay  longer. 

Any  consideration  of  the  projected  Bagdad  Railway  would,  it  is 
unnecessary  to  say,  be  outside  the  present  discussion.  In  the  opinion 
of  the  secretary  of  the  Ottoman  Railway  Company  the  enterprise 
would  not  pay  for  carriage  grease  ;  and,  whether  this  be  so  or  no,  it 
suffices  to  say  that  Bagdad  approaches  the  34th  Parallel,  while  the 
district  which  would  be  opened  up  is  already  sufficiently  well  known 
and  not  calculated  to  repay  development. 

As  to  the  feasibility  of  effecting  a  balloon  inflation  at  a  more 
southerly  latitude,  which  should  preferably  be  on  the  shore  of  the  Red 
Sea,  and  which  should  lead  to  a  sky  passage  across  a  tract  of  the 
peninsula  of  perhaps  the  greatest  economic  value,  Colonel  Fraser 
insists  that  an  ascent  from  the  east  of  the  Red  Sea  would  not  be 
easy,  as  it  is  the  sacred  province  of  the  Medjar,  confirming  this  opinion 
by  the  fact  that  he  himself  could  not  so  much  as  unroll  a  map  of  his 
route  in  a  Euphrates  valley  if  there  were  any  Turks  about. 


1904        TO  EXPLORE  ARABIA   BY  BALLOON         257 

To  meet  this  difficulty,  it  may  be  pointed  out  that  it  would  not 
add  more  than  a  few  miles  to  the  voyage  if  the  inflation  were  effected 
on  the  west  bank  of  the  Red  Sea  ;  and  possibly  it  might  even  be 
carried  out  with  no  great  difficulty,  and  with  perfect  immunity  from 
trouble,  from  one  of  the  many  islands  in  the  lower  latitudes  of  that  sea: 

Lastly,  there  is  conceivably  the  expedient  now  being  developed  of 
a  self-contained  hot-air  balloon,  for  the  success  of  which  the  air  lying 
over  Southern  Arabia  would  be  specially  favourable. 

It  remains  to  give  due  attention  to  such  meagre  information 
regarding  Central  Arabia  as  we  at  present  possess,  and  to  consider  the 
knowledge  we  might  hope  to  gain  by  balloon  exploration,  and  here  we 
would  first  examine  a  map  prepared  from  facts  supplied  by  Mr.  Hogarth 
and  others ;  and,  by  way  of  sample  of  the  country,  let  us  note  that  a 
central  patch,  marking  what  we  may  regard  as  the  heart  of  the  northern 
half  of  the  country,  and  standing,  roughly  speaking,  between  the 
parallels  of  27°  and  29°,  is  claimed  to  be  partially  known.  Let  us, 
however,  further  estimate  what  this  really  means.  I  take  it  that  no 
more  experienced  or  adventurous  explorer  ever  penetrated  into  the 
Arabian  interior  than  Mr.  Wilfrid  S.  Blunt,  whose  route  and  survey, 
drawn  Jby  his  own  hand,  has  been  published  by  the  Royal  Geographical 
Society.  To  use  his  own  words,  he  finds  this  portion  of  Central 
Arabia  occupying  its  old  condition  of  an  almost  fabulous  land,  whose 
real  nature  is  still  a  matter  of  doubt  if  not  of  curiosity.  For  more 
than  two  hundred  miles  from  Kaf  to  Jof  there  is  no  inhabited  place, 
while  it  is  only  along  the  course  of  the  Wady  that  there  are  wells 
which  attract  the  Bedouins.  Jof  itself  has  some  five  hundred  houses 
and  palm  gardens,  and  in  its  whole  oasis  there  may  be  seven  thousand 
souls.  Thence,  with  a  splendid  equipment  of  camels,  it  cost  the 
experienced  traveller  eleven  days  to  cross  the  Nefud — a  true  and 
typical  desert,  and  yet  so  far^from  unproductive  that  its  mere  red 
sand  after  rain  becomes  actually  covered — so  Mr.  Blunt  believes — 
with  grass  and  flowers.  More  than  this,  it  is,  we  learn,  in  one  way 
blest  above  all  other  places — '  fleas  do  not  exist  there.'  Of  that  land 
Sir  H.  Rawlinson  has  said  that  it  is  the  most  romantic  in  the  world, 
with  a  sort  of  weird  mystery  about  it  from  the  very  difficulty  of 
penetrating  it.  Mr.  Hogarth  adds  his  own  testimony  as  to  this 
approach  to  Arabia,  asserting  that  it  is  only  entered  with  great  diffi- 
culty and  pain  by  man  and  beast,  so  that  present-day  pilgrims  have 
almost  abandoned  the  land  route  for  the  sea ;  and  the  central  plateau 
is  become  more  an  island  than  ever.  If,  now,  we  pass  to  examine 
the  rich  and,  from  its  neighbourhood  to  the  seaboard,  the  more 
accessible  oasis  of  Hasa,  the  land  of  running  streams  and  many  springs, 
we  find  it  is  but  a  mere  narrow  strip,  while  immediately  without  to 
south  and  west  '  stretches  the  unknown.'  Further  yet,  when  we  turn 
to  the  nearer  and  more  luxuriant  spots  of  the  south-west  corner  of 
the  peninsula,  the  portal,  as  it  were,  of  J:he  region  we  seek  to  reach, 


258  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

the  alluring  plains  which  ere  now  have  led  explorers  to  hope  to  gain  a 
footing,  whence  they  might  extend  our  knowledge — the  '  Happy 
Arabia '  of  ancient  geographers — where  once  the  waters  were  held 
back  by  huge  artificial  dams,  we  find  ourselves  equally  baulked,  for 
we  learn  that  the  newest  of  these  works  is  no  later  than  the  sixth 
century.  All  are  broken  now,  and  the  waters  filter  away,  allowing 
the  sand  to  creep  once  more  about  the  villages. 

Enough.  We  can  but  avail  ourselves  of  such  legendary  informa- 
tion as  is  to  hand  to  at  least  form  some  allowable  conjecture  of  what 
the  great  unknown  has  to  reveal,  and  how  well  worth  at  least  a  cur- 
sory survey.  It  appears  that  from  whatever  side  this  region  is  ap- 
proached, tribesmen  dwelling  on  the  outskirts  have,  in  place  of  any 
definite  information,  mere  tales  of  awe  and  wonder  bred  of  a  certain 
superstitious  terror.  It  is  a  wilderness  upon  which  Nature  vents  her 
fiercer  moods  ;  it  is  a  land  of  wrath  where  the  earth  is  shaken  and  the 
soil  in  perpetual  unrest.  There  is  a  vague  talk  of  saline  oases  and  of 
wild  palm  groves ;  but  it  is  said  that  ere  men  can  reach  these  the 
earth  opens  to  engulf  them,  or  they  are  swallowed  up  in  subtly  shifting 
quicksands.  The  mysteriousness  of  these  reports  endows  the  country 
with  a  species  of  enchantment,  and  we  can  no  longer  regard  the 
so-called  desert  as  a  mere  waste — the  more  so  when  we  unmistakably 
trace  up  to  the  limit  of  where  any  European  has  yet  trodden  how 
beneficently  Nature  has  dealt  with  the  land,  converting  the  desert 
soil  into  very  gardens  of  Paradise,  and  whole  regions  into  luxuriant 
fertility.  Every  thoughtful  traveller  through  the  Red  Sea  must  look 
out  over  those  blue  mountains  to  the  eastward,  and  feel  that  beyond 
those  far  and  fascinating  slopes  must  lie  the  hope  of  new  discovery 
and  fresh  scope  for  enterprise. 

Now,  if  the  generally  accepted  estimate  of  the  upper  wind  currents 
is  fairly  correct,  then,  for  a  preliminary  aerial  survey,  a  balloon  no 
larger  than  that  recently  employed  by  Count  de  la  Vaulx  might 
suffice,  especially  if  the  mode  of  inflation  by  hydrogen,  artificially 
produced  on  the  field,  were  adopted,  and  for  the  rest  little  more  would 
be  needed  than  a  proper  outlook  maintained  on  the  eastern  shore  of 
the  peninsula.  This,  of  course,  is  essential,  as  at  the  end  of  the 
voyage  the  aeronaut  will  need  certain  efficient  assistance.  If  he 
elect  to  alight  on  the  coast,  he  will  not  succeed  in  doing  so  without 
assuredly  having  been  sighted  by  the  fanatical  native,  who,  to  say 
the  least,  is  liable  to  give  trouble.  If,  on  the  other  hand,  he  prefer 
to  drop  on  the  water,  as  many  a  balloonist  has  with  safety  done  ere 
now,  then  there  must  be  those  afloat  and  sufficiently  near  at  hand 
who,  having  been  watching  the  balloon  in  the  sky,  will  have  oppor- 
tunity to  direct  their  course  and  '  stand  by.' 

An  initial  experiment,  altogether  inexpensive,  comparatively 
speaking,  and  readily  carried  out,  should  be  made  by  fleets  of  pilot 
balloons  designed  to  remain  aloft  in  such  a  climate  as  the  Arabian 


1904         TO  EXPLORE  ARABIA   BY  BALLOON        259 

desert  for  the  time  considered  sufficient  to  cross  the  breadth  of  the 
country,  dismissed  from  chosen  positions  on  the  west  side,  and  looked 
out  for  on  all  the  available  places  on  the  eastern  seaboard.  It  would 
not  be  necessary  that  these  should  be  captured.  If  batches  were 
dismissed  from  different  points  on  different  pre-arranged  dates,  and 
if  after  crossing  the  land  any  were  sighted  in  the  sky,  the  route  that 
they  had  taken,  as  also  the  time  of  transit,  would  be  well  determined. 

But  so  far  we  have  not  said  all  that  is  to  be  advanced  as  to  the 
chances  on  the  side  of  the  aeronaut.  Should  it  appear  from  pre- 
liminary tests  that  the  passage  across  the  peninsula  would  occupy  a 
longer — even  a  far  longer — period  than  we  have  assumed,  the  resources 
of  the  aeronaut  may  yet  by  special  means  be  rendered  fully  equal  to 
meet  any  enforced  detention  in  the  sky.  Ordinary  aerial  voyages, 
though  they  seldom  fail  through  any  inanition  of  the  balloon  itself, 
are  nevertheless  commonly  undertaken  without  any  special  econo- 
mising of  the  gas  which,  for  safety  against  bursting  as  also  for  the  sake 
of  a  certain  indolent  convenience,  is  allowed  to  escape  by  natural 
diffusion  from  the  neck  of  the  balloon,  kept  constantly  open.  A 
suitably  devised  valve,  however,  might  be  made  to  considerably 
diminish  this  waste  of  gas  at  the  lower  aperture ;  while  from  the  upper 
opening,  usually  closed  with  a  hinged  valve,  the  ordinary  and  by  no 
means  negligible  amount  of  leakage  can  be  entirely  obviated  by  a 
solid  valve  of  varnished  silk,  which  is  firmly  bound  over  the  aperture, 
and  which  remains  perfectly  impervious  until  finally  rent  open  at 
the  termination  of  the  voyage.  But  should  it  be  considered  that, 
even  so,  a  single  balloon  would  not  possess  sufficient  '  life '  for  due 
safety,  then  a  method  that  has  been  advocated  by  practical  aeronauts, 
but  never  yet  needed  to  be  put  in  force,  could  be  adopted.  This  con- 
sists in  starting  on  the  voyage,  not  with  a  single  balloon,  but  with 
two  or  more  in  tandem,  and  so  arranged  that  when  by  lapse  of  time 
the  main  balloon  became  unduly  shrunken  it  might  be  replenished  by 
the  gas  from  a  spare  balloon,  which  could  then  be  discarded. 

Anyhow,  the  fact  remains  that  seventy  years  ago  a  balloon  of  no 
extraordinary  size,  and  with  no  special  fittings,  inflated,  moreover, 
only  by  household  gas,  then  but  recently  adopted  for  ballooning  pur- 
poses, carried  three  passengers  and  an  enormous  reserve  of  ballast 
across  five  hundred  miles  in  eighteen  hours.  This  voyage,  conducted 
by  Charles  Green,  extended  from  London  to  the  heart  of  the  German 
Forests,  and  was  continued,  moreover,  through  a  long,  cold  winter 
night,  which  must  have  told  considerably  against  its  sustentation, 
yet  at  its  termination,  dictated  only  by  considerations  of  convenience, 
SD  much  ballast  was  still  remaining  that  there  can  be  no  reasonable 
doubt  that  with  the  sun  about  to  rise  the  length  of  the  journey  might 
have  been  doubled  if  desired.  It  may  further  be  pointed  out  that 
no  balloon  voyage  soever  yet  undertaken  in  Europe  or  America  has 
been  carried  through  under  conditions  which  would  tend  most  to  its 


260  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

prolongation.  This  is  easily  made  clear,  for  wheresoever  in  balloon 
travel  there  is  much  diversity  of  country  traversed  there  will  also  be 
frequent  variations  in  the  amount  of  heat  radiated  into  the  sky,  a 
fact  which  influences  the  height  at  which  a  balloon  would  ride  not 
only  directly  but  indirectly  also,  owing  to  the  vertical  currents  as- 
cending and  descending  which  will  be  engendered.  And  this  is  but 
the  smaller  disturbing  element  in  the  sky  to  be  met  with  commonly 
over  European  or  American  soil.  A  greater  disturbance  in  equilibrium 
will  be  found  in  the  diversity  of  cloud  and  sunshine  assuredly  to  be 
encountered  in  any  extended  travel.  Passing  in  and  out  or  even  in 
the  neighbourhood  of  cloud  in  the  free  sky  commonly  causes  great 
variation  of  temperature  within  the  envelope  of  a  balloon,  and  then 
great  waste  of  its  life  inevitably  ensues.  This  may  be  readily  under- 
stood, for  any  accession  of  heat  causes  an  immediate  rise  to  higher 
altitudes,  where,  external  pressure  being  diminished,  a  certain  loss  of 
gas  is  the  consequence,  followed  presently  by  a  descent  of  the  balloon 
below  its  previous  level,  which  can  only  be  regained  by  another  loss, 
equally  serious — that  of  ballast. 

Now  it  is  not  to  be  doubted  that  the  above-mentioned  frequent 
vicissitudes  would  be  practically  eliminated  in  the  case  of  a  sky 
passage  across  such  country  as  lower  Central  Arabia  must  be  supposed 
to  be,  while  the  withdrawal  of  the  sun's  rays  at  night  would  simply 
entail  a  steady  subsidence  of  the  balloon  to  some  lower  altitude,  where 
the  heat  steadily  radiated  from  the  now  adjacent  earth  would  keep 
it  at  a  safe,  if  not  at  a  constant,  level  without  waste  of  ballast.  Thus 
an  aeronaut  of  experience  should  have  no  difficulty  in  remaining  in 
the  sky  throughout  any  period  that  might  be  rendered  necessary. 

A  further  all-important  point  remains  as  to  whether  the  aeronaut 
voyager  could  keep  in  touch  with  earth  by  means  of  wireless  tele- 
graphy. Of  this  possibility  I  am  able  up  to  a  certain  point  to  speak 
from  actual  experience  in  a  trial  specially  organised  four  years  ago. 
At  the  hands  of  all  experimenters  one  main  obstacle  had  been  found 
in  the  disturbing  influence  of  earth.  Across  water  success  was  inva- 
riably greater  than  over  land — a  fact  which,  indeed,  continues  to  be 
borne  out  in  the  most  recent  practice.  It  then  naturally  suggested 
itself  that  a  suitable  instrument,  transported  high  above  the  earth's 
surface  in  a  balloon,  and  put  in  due  communication  with  another 
instrument  on  the  ground,  might  act  with  far  greater  advantage  than 
would  similar  apparatus  operating  between  two  land  stations.  And 
this  actually  proved  to  be  the  case. 

The  apparatus  was  designed  by  Mr.  Nevil  Maskelyne,  who  also 
presided  at  the  ground  station.  The  trial  took  place  on  the  occasion 
of  the  garden  party  of  the  British  Association  meeting  at  Bradford. 
Here  the  ground  station  was  established  at  one  end  of  Lister  Park, 
while  a  small  mine  with  an  electric  igniter  was  also  constructed,  and 
thisjt  was  my  task  to  endeavour  to  fire  five  minutes  after  I  had  risen 


1904         TO  EXPLORE  ARABIA   BY  BALLOON        261 

into  the  sky.  The  balloon  carried  both  receiving  and  transmitting 
instruments,  making  up  a  somewhat  heavy  apparatus,  which  unfor- 
tunately suffered  several  smart  concussions  from  impact  with  the 
ground  during  a  rough  and  difficult  launching.  It  required  the  five 
minutes'  grace  allowed  me  to  restore  the  working  parts  of  the  instru- 
ments to  something  like  order,  and,  this  interval  having  elapsed,  I 
pressed  the  button,  at  the  same  time  calling  the  attention  of  my 
companion  in  the  car — Sir  Edmund  Fremantle — to  the  fact.  In 
about  fifteen  seconds  the  report  of  the  exploded  mine  was  loudly 
heard,  confirming  our  own  estimate  of  distance,  which  amounted  to 
some  three  miles. 

According  to  agreement,  during  the  next  five  minutes  the  re- 
ceiving instrument  was  now  switched  into  action,  and  the  signalling 
of  my  colleague  was  at  once  found  to  be  going  forward,  and  in  per- 
fect order.  Moreover,  his  messages  had  in  no  way  deteriorated  in 
clearness  after  the  balloon  had  sailed  thirty  miles  away,  and  was  then 
settling  to  earth.  On  the  other  hand,  it  was  found  that  after  the 
firing  of  the  mine  a  wire  in  the  transmitting  instrument,  which  had 
received  damage  at  the  start,  had  parted,  and  thus  the  majority  of 
the  messages  from  the  balloon  were  lost. 

This,  as  I  have  stated,  was  four  years  ago,  and  the  methods  of 
wireless  telegraphy  have  so  greatly  improved  since  that  no  shadow  of 
doubt  remains  in  my  mind  as  to  its  successful  use  over  very  extended 
land  distances,  where  one  of  the  stations  is  a  high-flying  balloon. 
Presumably  the  chief  obstacle  would  be,  as  in  the  case  at  sea,  the 
interference  of  a  thunderstorm  region ;  but  though  this  may  be  con- 
stantly feared  amid  the  storm  systems  of  the  Atlantic,  the  case  must 
be  far  otherwise  over  the  arid  plains  of  Arabia. 

In  the  venture  thus  far  sketched  out,  the  advantage  that  would 
accrue  if  the  balloon  were  equipped  with  wireless  telegraphy  instru- 
ments must  be  now  apparent,  for  not  only  could  the  traveller  con- 
tinue to  transmit  back  to  his  base  a  connected  description  of  the  land 
opened  up  to  his  view,  but  in  due  course  he  could  announce  to  some 
appointed  look-out  station  on  the  far  shore  his  approximate  course, 
with  a  view  to  timely  succour. 

JOHN  M.  BACON. 

Coldash,  Newbury. 


262  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 


SOME    MAXIMS    OF    THE 
LATE  LORD  BALLING  AND  BULWER 


IN  the  month  of  June  1852  I  was  sitting  at  my  desk  in  the  Foreign 
Office  when  I  was  sent  for  by  Lord  Malmesbury,  recently  appointed 
Secretary  of  State  for  Foreign  Affairs.  He  told  me  to  start  as  soon 
as  possible  for  Florence,  to  which  Legation  he  had  attached  me,  and 
where  hands  were  very  much  wanted.  I  started,  I  think,  the  next 
day,  and  after  rather  a  difficult  journey,  now  much  easier,  I  arrived  at 
Florence. 

In  those  days  one  had  to  go  by  railway  from  Paris  to  Chalons, 
then  down  the  Saone  by  river  to  Lyons,  where  one  was  transferred 
to  another  boat  for  the  passage  down  the  Rhone  to  Avignon.  At 
Avignon  one  found  the  railway  again,  and  in  three  hours  arrived  at 
Marseilles.  Thence  the  steamer  went  on  to  Genoa  and  Leghorn. 

On  arriving  at  Florence  I  was  desired  to  go  to  the  Villa  Salviati, 
on  the  hills  beyond  the  Porta  San  Gallo,  a  beautiful  old  villa,  subse- 
quently purchased  by  Mario,  the  great  tenor.  It  was  then  occupied 
by  Sir  Henry  Lytton  Bulwer,  the  head  of  the  Mission  to  the  Grand  Duke 
of  Tuscany.  I  arrived  at  about  ten  in  the  morning,  and  made  the 
acquaintance  of  Sir  Henry  Bulwer,  a  most  remarkable  figure  in 
British  diplomacy.  I  had  before  known  several  of  his  relations  who 
lived  in  Norfolk,  and  subsequently  to  this  visit,  and  all  through  life, 
I  have  been  more  or  less  in  frequent  communication  with  some 
member  of  the  family. 

Sir  Henry  Bulwer  had  passed,  and  continued  later,  a  very  varied 
career,  accumulating  a  vast  amount  of  experience.  He  had  been  in 
the  Life  Guards,  in  diplomacy  at  Paris,  at  Brussels,  at  Constantinople, 
where  he  negotiated  a  treaty  of  commerce,  at  St.  Petersburg,  and  again 
at  Paris  ;  and  in  1843,  only  sixteen  years  after  his  entrance  into  diplo- 
macy at  Berlin  as  an  attache,  he  was  made  Envoy  Extraordinary  and 
Minister  Plenipotentiary  to  the  Queen  of  Spain. 

After  holding  office  for  five  years  in  Spain,  during  a  period  of  un- 
exampled activity  and  excitement,  Marshal  Narvaez  had  caused  him 
to  be  expelled  on  account  of  alleged  communications  with  the  revolu- 
tionists. 

At  that  time  the  English  Government  had  adopted  a  tone  making 


1904  SOME   MODERN  MAXIMS  263 

it  very  unpopular  in  foreign  retrogressive  countries.  Lord  Palraerston, 
then  Foreign  Minister,  whose  great  career  it  is  not  for  me  to  criticise, 
had  laid  down  as  his  policy  the  advocacy  of  constitutional  against 
despotic  forms  of  government  in  the  countries  where  England  had 
influence.  England  had  certainly  taken  great  part  in  the  politics  of 
Spain.  She  had  co-operated  openly  with  the  Cristina  and  theCristino 
party  for  the  establishment  of  the  young  Queen  Isabella,  and  had 
authorised  recruiting  in  England  for  an  armed  body  known  as  the 
British  Auxiliary  Legion,  organised  and  commanded  by  an  English 
General,  Sir  De  Lacy  Evans. 

Subsequently  to  his  leaving  Spain,  Sir  Henry  Bulwer  had  been 
appointed  Envoy  Extraordinary  at  Washington,  where  he  negotiated 
and  concluded  the  well-known  Clayton-Bulwer  Treaty.  It  was  signed 
one  evening  by  himself  and  Mr.  Webster  over  a  cigar.  From  Washington 
he  was,  at  his  own  request,  transferred  as  Minister  to  the  Grand  Duke 
of  Tuscany  in  1852.  This  he  resigned  in  1855.  He  did  not  intend, 
however,  his  retirement  to  be  permanent,  and  in  1856^he  was  named 
Commissioner,  under  the  Treaty  of  Paris,  to  investigate  the  state  of 
the  Danubian  Principalities,  and  to  propose  a  basis  for  their  future 
organisation.  It  may  here  be  said  parenthetically  that  the  object 
held  in  view  by  Europe  was  to  a  certain  extent  frustrated  by 
the  extraordinary  self-control  on  the  part  of  the  inhabitants  of 
the  Principalities  during  the  sittings  of  the  Commission.  By  the 
treaty  it  had  been  stipulated  that  the  Principalities  of  Moldavia 
and  Wallachia  were  to  be  kept  separate,  the  creation  of  one  State 
being  considered  dangerous  to  the  welfare  of  Turkey.  Such  were 
the  lines  on  which  the  Commission  proceeded,  and  they  carefully 
laid  down  an  organisation  for  each  Principality  separately.  But  one 
factor  had  been  overlooked.  It  had  been  laid  down  that,  when  the 
constitutions  had  been  drawn  up,  the  people  of  the  two  Principali- 
ties should  each  elect  their  own  prince.  To  the  astonishment  of 
everybody,  an  unlooked-for  development  occurred  from  the  action 
of  the  two  populations  when  each  Principality  elected  the  same  man, 
Colonel  Couza.  Thus,  while  the  stipulations  of  the  treaty  had  been 
carried  out,  the  populations  in  a  legal  manner  practically  consolidated 
the  two  Principalities  into  one.  This  took  place  in  1858,  in  which 
year  Sir  Henry  Bulwer  was  appointed  Ambassador  Extraordinary 
and  Plenipotentiary  at  Constantinople. 

He  retired  from  the  service  in  1865,  was  elected  M.P.  for  Tarn  worth 
in  1868,  and  in  1871  was  created  Baron  Bailing  and  Bulwer,  in  the 
county  of  Norfolk,  his  younger  brother,  Sir  Edward  Bulwer-Lytton, 
having  previously  been  raised  to  the  peerage  by  the  title  of  Lord 
Lytton. 

I  have  rather  diverged  from  my  original  intention  to  limit  my 
remarks  to  the  personality  of  Sir  Henry  Bulwer  as  he  then  was  at 
Florence.  The  political  situation  was  difficult.  Tuscany  was  occupied 


264  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

by  the  Austrians,  who,  notwithstanding  Lord  Palmerston's  retire- 
ment, still  associated  England  and  her  representative  with  his  policy. 
These  difficulties  had  been  increased  by  an  assault  on  a  British  subject, 
Mr.  Erskine  Mather,  who  stood  in  the  way  of  an  Austrian  officer 
marching  with  his  regiment.  The  officer  cut  him  down  with  his  sword, 
and  the  relations  between  Great  Britain  and  Austria  became  very 
strained.  This  incident  was  followed  by  many  others.  It  was  related 
that  water  accidentally  thrown  out  of  a  window  by  a  tradesman  had 
fallen  on  the  Grand  Duke,  who  was  passing.  The  tradesman,  horrified, 
rushed  before  the  carriage,  and,  falling  on  his  knees,  begged  for  forgive- 
ness. The  Grand  Duke  replied  kindly,  adding,  '  It  is  lucky  for  the 
Minister  I  am  not  an  Englishman,  or  there  would  certainly  have  been 
a  question  with  the  British  Legation.'  The  Legation  was  then  also 
engaged  in  advocating  the  cause  of  the  Madiai,  an  old  couple 
imprisoned  on  the  accusation  of  proselytism. 

W  Much  bitterness  was  avoided  by  the  tact,  amiable  bearing,  and 
profound  knowledge  of  character  of  Sir  Henry  Bulwer.  At  this  time 
my  colleagues  at  the  Legation  were  Mr.  Lytton,  the  son  of  Sir  Edward 
Lytton,  who  had  been  attached  to  his  uncle's  Mission  at  Washington, 
and  had  come  to  Florence  after  his  father's  victorious  return  for 
Hertfordshire  as  a  Protectionist.  He  was  later  Minister  at  Lisbon, 
Governor-General  of  India,  and  Ambassador  at  Paris,  where  he  died. 
The  other  was  Mr.  Fenton,  who  had  for  many  years  followed  Sir  Henry 
Bulwer  as  his  secretary.  He  still  survives,  after  an  honourable  and 
useful  career  at  many  posts,  having  elected  to  reside  at  the  Hague, 
the  scene  of  his  latest  employment,  and  where  he  possesses  many 
friends. 

Florence  had  always  been  a  favourite  post  for  statesmen  requiring 
repose,  and  Sir  Henry  Bulwer  was  succeeded  in  those  functions  by 
Lord  Normanby,  who  had  been  Viceroy  of  Ireland,  a  Minister  in 
various  English  Governments,  and  Ambassador  at  Paris.  The  family 
of  Bulwer  is  remarkably  accomplished  and  gifted.  Sir  Henry  Bulwer's 
elder  brother,  though  living  quietly  as  a  country  squire  in  Norfolk, 
was  no  doubt  a  man  of  great  capacity,  which  could  very  usefully  have 
been  employed  in  the  public  service.  He  left  three  sons — one,  like  his 
father,  an  exemplary  county  magnate ;  the  second  a  very  distin- 
guished general  officer  of  the  army ;  while  his  younger  brother,  Sir 
Henry  Bulwer,  has  made  a  great  reputation  in  several  important 
governorships,  amongst  others  Natal  and  Cyprus. 

Lord  Dalling  himself  had  a  most  remarkable  personal  charm,  and, 
though  he  had  many  adversaries  and  critics,  few  could  withstand  the 
attraction  of  his  manner  and  the  interest  of  his  conversation.  He 
had  lived  with  very  remarkable  men — with  Prince  Talleyrand,  Prince 
Lieven,  Count  d'Orsay,  Lord  Beaconsfield,  Lord  Melbourne,  Lord 
Palmerston,  besides  many  other  English  statesmen. 

In  his  conversation  he  always  appeared,  and  I  believe  naturally, 


1904  SOME   MODERN  MAXIMS  265 

to  take  a  great  personal  interest  in  those  with  whom  he  was  speaking. 
He  also  took  a  joke  against  himself  in  good  part.  At  Florence  both 
he  and  I  lived  on  intimate  terms  with  Charles  Lever.  The  latter 
could  not  refrain  from  noticing  the  weaknesses  of  his  friends,  and  in 
one  of  his  novels  he  ascribed  to  a  diplomatist,  by  name,  I  think,  Sir 
Horace  Upton,  one  of  Sir  Henry  Bulwer's  characteristics,  viz.,  always 
thinking  himself  ill  and  taking  medicine.  A  long  time  after  we  had 
separated  officially  I  called  on  Sir  Henry  Bulwer  in  London.  While 
talking  he  rang  for  his  valet  to  give  him  a  dose,  saying  to  me,  '  I  can 
never  take  a  pill  without  thinking  of  that  confounded  novel  of  Lever's 
and  Sir  Horace  Upton.'  I  did  not  know  he  had  read  the  work. 

The  great  peculiarity  of  his  conversation  was  that  he  had  evidently 
codified  his  life  in  fixed  axioms"andj)roverbial  sayings.  Two  or  three 
of  these  now  occur  to  me.  He  used  to  say,  '  Whenever  you  speak 
with  a  man  older  than  yourself,  always  recollect  that,  however  stupid 
he  may  be,  he  thinks  himself  wiser  than  you  because  he  is  older.' 
He  would  quote  a  saying  of  Talleyrand,  which  was,  '  Acknowledge 
the  receipt  of  a  book  from  the  author  at  once  :  this  relieves  you  of 
the  necessity  of  saying  whether  you  have  read  it.'  He  laid  down  as 
a  rule,  quoting  it  from  somebody  else,  I  believe  Lord  de  Ros,  that  you 
should  never  cut  anyone,  as  your  so  doing  deprives  you  of  an  oppor- 
tunity of  saying  disagreeable  things  to  him.  He  would  also  say, 
*  Never  discuss,  because  neither  you  nor  your  adversary  will  give  in 
to  the  other,  and  he  will  ever  consider  you  a  stupid  fellow  for  not 
agreeing  with  him.'  He  denned  the  advantage  of  matrimony  as  this : 
'  That  a  wife  will  tell  her  husband  truths  which  nobody  else  would 
venture  to  tell,  and  thus  correct  many  of  his  defects.'  He  once  said 
to  me,  and  I  think  his  observation  is  correct,  that  intimate  friends 
are  always  about  the  same  height.  This  he  had  found  in  his  own 
case,  and  it  is  difficult  for  a  tall  man  to  be  intimate  with  a  short  man, 
as  they  cannot  talk  confidentially  when  walking  together. 

In  1864  a  little  social  paper  was  started  called  the  Owl.  The 
contributors  were  men  of  considerable  importance  in  politics,  society, 
and  literature.  It  was  devised  by  Lord  Glenesk,  Mr.  Evelyn  Ashley, 
and  Mr.  Cameron  of  Lochiel,  assisted  later  by  Mr.  Laurence  Oliphant, 
and  administered  by  the  first  with  his  well-known  tact  and  discrimi- 
nation during  the  seven  years  of  its  existence.  I  do  not  know  how 
far  it  is  advisable  or  legitimate  to  enter  into  any  details  of  this  inter- 
esting publication,  but  suffice  it  to  say  that  its  pages  occasionally 
contained  papers  by  Lord  Dalling.  Amongst  other  contributions, 
he  sent  in  a  paper  of  proverbs  ;  these  were  not  considered  adapted 
to  the  columns  of  the  Owl,  inasmuch  as  they  did  not  relate  to  any 
passing  circumstances  of  the  day,  but  were  of  an  abstract  and  general 
character.  Shortly  before  Lord  Balling's  death  I  paid  him  a  visit, 
first  at  Hyeres,  later  at  Trieste.  Here  we  stayed  with  Charles  Lever, 
who,  as  has  been  mentioned,  had  been  a  friend  of  both  of  us  from 


266  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

Florence  days.  He  was  on  his  way  to  Egypt,  from  which  journey  he 
never  returned  home,  as  he  died  on  the  23rd  of  May,  1872,  if  I  recollect 
right,  at  Naples  on  his  way  home.  Lord  Bailing  gave  to  me  his 
rejected  proverbs,  begging  me  some  day,  when  I  found  an  opportunity, 
to  publish  them.  This  I  now  do,  in  the  hope  that  they  may  be  admired 
by  others  as  much  as  I  have  admired  them. 

H.  DRUMMOND  WOLFF. 


MAXIMS. 

The  maxims  of  wisdom  are  the  pieces  of  glass  in  a  kaleidoscope :  they 
remain  for  ever  unchanged  and  in  the  same  case ;  but  every  age  shakes  them 
into  a  new  combination  of  colours. 

In  nine  cases  out  of  ten,  a  man  who  cannot  explain  his  ideas  is  the  dupe  of 
his  imagination  in  thinking  he  has  any. 

To  say  to  a  man  when  you  ask  him  a  favour,  '  Don't  do  it  if  it  incon- 
veniences you,'  is  a  mean  way  of  saving  yourself  from  an  obligation,  and 
depriving  another  of  the  merit  of  conferring  one. 

The  flattery  of  one's  friends  is  required  as  a  dram  to  keep  up  one's  spirits 
against  the  injustice  of  one's  enemies. 

Do  not  trust  to  your  railroads,  nor  your  telegraphs,  nor  your  schools,  as  a 
test  of  civilisation ;  the  real  refinement  of  a  nation  is  to  be  found  in  the  justice 
of  its  ideas  and  the  courtesy  of  its  manners. 

The  knowledge  of  the  most  value  to  us  is  that  which  we  gain  so  insensibly 
and  gradually  as  not  to  perceive  we  have  acquired  it  until  its  effect  becomes 
visible  in  our  conduct. 

The  quiet  of  a  city  is  the  quiet  that  one  most  appreciates,  for  the  sense  of 
quiet  in  the  country  is  lost  by  want  of  contrast. 

You  will  never  be  trusted  if  you  do  more  to  gain  an  enemy  than  to  serve  a 
friend. 

You  are  not  obliged  to  give  your  hand  to  anyone ;  but  never  give  your 
finger. 

The  way  to  be  always  respected  is  to  be  always  in  earnest. 

When  you  notice  a  vague  accusation  you  give  it  a  reality  and  turn  a  shadow 
into  a  substance. 

You  cannot  show  a  greater  want  of  tact  than  in  attempting  to  console  a 
person  by  making  light  of  his  grief. 

.  One  of  .the  charms  of  an  intimacy  between  two  persons  of  different  sexes  is 
that  the  man  loves  the  woman  for  qualities  he  does  not  envy,  and  the  woman 
appreciates  the  man  for  qualities  she  does  not  pretend  to  possess. 

The  best  way  of  effacing  a  failure  is  to  obtain  a  success. 

..     .Friendship .and;  familiarity  are   twin  sisters,  very  much  alike,  but  rarely 

agreeing.,.,    .,•.;..-, 

Whilst  a  second- rUte  man  is  considering  how  he  should  take  the  lead,  a  first- 
rate  man  takes  it. 


1901  SOME  MODERN  MAXIMS  267 

There  are  a  great  many  idle  men  constantly  busy  about  something  which 
they  know  is  not  the  thing  that  ought  to  occupy  them. 

When  you  go  into  mixed  company,  the  air  you  should  carry  with  you  there 
is  that  of  fearing  no  one  and  wishing  to  offend  no  one. 

Religious  persecution  is  the  effe  ct  of  an  exaggerated  vanity  rendered  ferocious 
by  the  best  intentions. 

If  you  expect  a  disagreeable  thing,  meet  it  and  get  rid  of  it  as  soon  as  you 
can  ;  if  you  expect  anything  agreeable,  you  need  not  be  in  such  a  hurry,  for  the 
anticipation  of  pain  is  pain — the  anticipation  of  pleasure,  pleasure. 

The  practical  man  is  he  who  turns  life  to  the  best  account  for  himself;  the 
good  man,  he  who  teaches  others  how  to  do  so. 

Only  let  those  know  you  intimately  who  speak  well  of  you  ;  and  only  know 
intimately  those  of  whom  you  can  speak  well. 

An  obstinate  man  dies  in  maintaining  a  post  which  is  utterly  defenceless.  A 
resolute  man  does  not  abandon  his  fortress  as  long  as  he  can  bring  a  gun  to  bear 
on  the  enemy. 

You  may  be  gentle  in  your  dealings  with  men  just  as  you  can  be  firm.  Never 
say  '  no  '  from  pride,  nor  '  yes  '  from  weakness. 

The  great  art  of  speaking  and  writing  is  that  of  knowing  what  to  leave 
out. 

It  is  very  difficult  to  get  stupid  people  to  change  their  opinions,  for  they  find 
it  so  hard  to  get  an  idea  that  they  don't  like  to  lose  one. 

To  despair  is  to  bury  one's  self  alive. 

We  have  never  won  a  complete  victory  when  we  have  not  gained  the  good 
will  of  those  we  have  subdued. 

If  you  can  associate  your  career  with  the  ideas  of  your  epoch,  you  will  be 
sympathised  with  if  you  fail,  and  forgiven  if  you  succeed. 

A  dwarf,  a  hunchback,  and  a  natural  son  are  never  at  their  ease  in  the 
world,  for  they  entered  it  with  a  sore  which  some  vanity  is  always  rubbing. 

The  best  trait  in  a  man's  character  is  an  anxiety  to  serve  those  who  have 
obliged  him  once  and  can  do  so  no  more. 

Always  go  out  of  your  way  to  serve  a  friend ;  never  to  avoid  a  foe. 

Some  men  ride  a  steeplechase  after  fortune  ;  some  seek  it  leisurely  on  the 
beaten  track ;  and  some  hope  to  attain  it  by  a  new  path  which  they  think  they 
have  discovered.  The  first  arrive  rapidly  or  not  at  all ;  the  second  arrive  surely, 
but  generally  too  late ;  the  last  usually  lose  their  way,  but  are  so  charmed  with 
their  road  that  they  forget  the  object  of  their  journey. 

Friendships  are  founded  on  character ;  intimacy,  on  habits. 

You  are  no  better  for  being  well  thought  of  by  those  you  live  with  if  the 
world  thinks  ill  of  them,  and  you  gain  nothing  by  living  with  those  of  whom 
the  world  thinks  well  if  they  think  ill  of  you. 

Nothing  is  so  common  as  to  make  a  great  blunder  in  order  to  remedy  a  small 
one. 


268  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

A  Spanish  proverb  says  that  '  He  who  makes  himself  all  sugar,  the  flies  will 
eat  him  up ; '  but  another  observes,  '  He  who  makes  himself  all  vinegar  will 
never  catch  any  flies.' 

Striking  actions  make  reputations  ;  useful  ones,  a  career. 

A  lady  at  Court  assured  the  Prince  de  Conti  in  his  later  days  that  he  was  as 
young  as  ever.  '  No,'  he  said,  '  Madame,  and  I  will  tell  you  how  I  discovered 
it.  Formerly,  when  I  paid  your  sex  compliments,  they  were  taken  for  declara- 
tions ;  now,  when  I  make  a  lady  a  declaration,  she  takes  it  for  a  compliment.' 
We  can  always  ascertain  what  we  really  are  if  we  do  not  blind  ourselves  as  to 
the  effect  we  produce. 

Superior  men  rarely  underrate  the  talents  of  those  who  are  inferior  to  them. 
Inferior  men  nearly  always  underrate  the  talents  of  those  whose  abilities  are 
above  their  own ;  for  the  tendency  of  genius  is  to  raise  to  its  own  height,  that 
of  mediocrity  to  depress  to  its  own  level. 

You  cannot  do  anyone  more  good  than  by  trying  unsuccessfully  to  do  him 
an  injury. 

Man  is  by  nature  a  hunter,  who  cares  more  for  the  sport  of  the  chase  than  the 
prey  he  is  in  quest  of.  This  is  why  the  objects  we  seek  after  are  not  to  be  esti- 
mated by  the  pains  we  take  to  procure  them.  People  say,  '  Why  give  yourself 
so  much  trouble  for  so  small  a  pleasure  ?  '  They  forget  that  the  trouble  is  the 
main  part  of  the  pleasure. 

Bad  temper  and  bad  manners  are  equally  bad  habits,  which  we  indulge  in 
because  they  rather  affect  others  than  ourselves.  Few  find  it  difficult  to  govern 
the  first  when  they  are  in  the  presence  of  those  whom  it  is  their  interest  not  to 
offend,  and  almost  everyone  can  correct  the  last  when  he  is  in  the  presence  of 
those  he  is  desirous  to  please. 

A  man's  expressions  of  gratitude  are  according  to  the  service  he  receives ; 
his  feelings  of  gratitude  according  to  the  manner  in  which  the  service  was 
rendered. 

Vanity  shows  itself  in  a  person  in  two  ways  :  by  the  endeavour  to  please,  and 
by  the  confidence  that  he  does  please.  The  first  makes  an  agreeable  impression, 
the  latter  quite  the  reverse. 

The  worst  thing  that  you  can  do,  if  you  wish  to  be  well  with  the  world,  is  to 
let  it  see  that  you  are  afraid  of  losing  its  good  opinion. 

If  you  begin  by  thinking  that  nothing  can  be  done  without  difficulty,  you 
will  end  by  doing  everything  with  facility. 

Many  people  who  seem  clever  are  merely  plated  with  the  cleverness  of 
others. 

Nothing  is  so  focllsh  as  to  be  wise  out  of  season. 

Make  anyone  think  he  has  been  clever  or  agreeable,  and  he  will  think  you 
have  been  so. 


1904 


PEPYS  AND  MERCER 


PEPYS  as  the  statesman,  the  connoisseur,  the  musician,  or  the  man  of 
letters,  is  full  of  interest  for  the  student ;  but  it  is  Pepys  the  man  who 
chiefly  charms  the  fancy  of  ordinary  folk.  Not  that  his  character 
was  either  powerful  or  without  blemish.  On  the  contrary,  in  the 
strange  medley  of  qualities  which  his  Diary  reveals,  we  find  resolution 
and  cowardice,  integrity  and  meanness,  selfishness  and  benevolence, 
cultivated  tastes  and  vulgar  aspirations,  religious  earnestness  and 
moral  laxity,  linked  in  a  bewildering  companionship.  But  so  far  as 
it  extends,  the  Diary  tells  the  story  of  a  life  which  was  lived  to  the 
utmost,  and  the  intense  humanity  which  throbs  through  it  makes 
even  its  smallest  details  tingle.  And  many  of  the  details  are  small 
enough.  A  greater  man  would  have  passed  them  over  in  silence  ;  a 
smaller  man  would  have  presented  them  as  lifeless  trivialities.  But 
everything  connected  with  himself  was  full  of  importance  to  Pepys, 
and  thus  the  minutiae  of  the  Diary  seem  to  have  caught  fire  at  the 
flame  of  his  personality.  This  has  given  to  the  minor  characters  an 
interest  which  they  would  not  otherwise  have  acquired.  Though  we 
know  them  only  imperfectly,  they  are  real  men  and  women  to  us,  not 
mere  descriptions.  The  central  figure  does  not  throw  the  others  into 
shade,  but  kindles  them  into  brightness.  Yet  the  illumination  is 
partial  only.  So  far  as  they  enter  into  his  life  of  the  moment,  they 
are  caught  up  and  carried  along  by  its  story  ;  but  let  them  once  drop 
out  of  it,  and  they  pass  straightway  into  oblivion.  They  shine,  but 
not  with  their  own  light ;  and,  though  not  devoid  of  individual  interest, 
their  value  lies  rather  in  what  they  reveal  to  us  of  the  life  and  sur- 
roundings of  Pepys  himself.- 

Among  these  lesser  figures  Mary  Mercer  stands  conspicuous.  She 
became  Mrs.  Pepys'  maid  in  the  autumn  of  1664,  and  her  intimacy 
with  the  family  for  the  next  four  years  covered  the  brightest  and 
most  interesting  part  of  the  period  with  which  the  Diary  deals.  The 
previous  experience  of  the  Pepyses  in  their  domestic  servants  had  been 
chequered.  Jane  Wayneman,  their  servant  when  the  Diary  opens 
(January  1,  1659),  was  a  single-handed  '  general,'  and  it  was  not 
till  some  months  later,  in  November  1660,  that  Mrs.  Pepys  could 
indulge  in  the  luxury  of  a  maid  of  her  own.  Pepys'  own  sister,  Paulina, 
VOL.  LVI— No.  330.  269  T 


270  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

then  came  to  them  in  this  capacity.  Such  a  situation  is  at  best 
beset  with  difficulties,  and  as  a  matter  of  fact  the  experiment  was 
not  a  success.  Pepys  himself  attempted  it  with  many  misgivings, 
and  out  of  pure  benevolence  to  his  sister.  But  '  Pall '  was  not  an 
amiable  character.  He  was  '  afeard  of  her  ill  temper '  ;  and  this  was 
not  the  worst  of  her  faults,  for,  even  as  a  guest,  she  had  been  caught 
pilfering.  He  determined  to  keep  her  in  her  place  from  the  first, 
and  refused  to  let  her  sit  at  table  with  himself  and  his  wife,  '  so  that 
she  may  not  expect  it  hereafter '  from  him.  However,  she  soon 
grew  lazy,  and  demoralised  the  other  maid,  Jane.  Matters  finally 
came  to  a  head  on  the  25th  of  August  1661,  and  after  a  stormy  inter- 
view, at  which  he  '  brought  down  her  proud  spirit,'  it  was  arranged 
that  she  should  retire  to  his  father's  house  at  Brampton  in  Hunting- 
donshire, whither  she  departed  on  the  5th  of  September  1661,  '  crying 
exceedingly,'  with  20s.  and  some  excellent  advice  from  Pepys.  Some 
others  followed  in  rather  rapid  succession,  none  of  whom  were  of  any 
note  except  the  brilliant  Gosnell,  whose  term  of  service,  however, 
was  only  four  or  five  days — from  the  4th  to  the  9th  of  December 
1662.  Ostensibly  she  was  withdrawn  by  her  uncle,  Justice  Jiggins, 
who  required  her  services  for  some  special  business.  But  from  Pepys' 
account  of  the  matter  she  seems  to  have  expected  more  liberty  than 
she  would  have  obtained  in  his  household,  and  probably  was  not 
unwilling  to  give  up  her  place.  Shortly  afterwards  we  hear  of  her 
appearance  on  the  stage,  where  she  rose  to  considerable  distinction. 
By  this  time  the  number  of  servants  in  the  house  had  increased  to  at 
least  three ;  but  Mrs.  Pepys  seems  to  have  managed  without  a  maid 
of  her  own  till  Mary  Ashwell  was  engaged  in  this  capacity  on  the 
12th  of  March  1662,  at  4Z.  a  year.  Pepys  considered  these  wages 
(equivalent  to  about  181.  of  our  money)  high  ;  but  on  the  6th  of  October 
1666,  he  speaks  of  a  maid  who  asked  20Z.  a  year,  and  who,  though 
coming  with  a  great  reputation,  turned  out  to  be  '  a  tawdry  wench  who 
would  take  81.'  It  is  not  quite  easy  to  determine  whether  it  was 
servants'  wages  or  Pepys'  ideas  which  had  risen  in  the  interval  of  four 
years.  Pretty,  witty,  a  good  dancer,  and  '  with  a  very  fine  carriage  ' 
which  put  his  wife's  to  shame,  Ashwell  delighted  Pepys  with  her 
merry  talk,  and  still  more  with  her  musical  ability.  Before  long, 
however,  Mrs.  Pepys,  stimulated  perhaps  by  the  '  very  fine  carriage,' 
became  jealous,  reproaching  her  husband  and  rating  her  maid. 
Domestic  relations  became  very  strained,  and  once,  much  to  Pepys' 
annoyance,  there  was  an  altercation  between  them  at  Hinchingbrooke 
House.  At  length  they  came  to  blows,  and  soon  afterwards  Ashwell 
left,  on  the  25th  of  August  1663. 

Incidents  of  this  kind,  though  somewhat  startling  to  us,  were  by 

no  means  unusual  in  the  domestic  life  of  the  period;1    Mrs.  Pepys 

seems   to  have  used  her  fists  freely  in  her  household  management, 

though,  judging  by  her  portrait,  the  punishment  can  hardly  have 

1  Domestic  Life  under  the  Stuarts,  by  Elizabeth  Godfrey,  p.  209. 


1904  PEPYS  AND   MERCER  271 

been  very  painful.  On  the  llth  of  January  1663,  Pepys,  being 
angered  at  the  idleness  of  his  servants,  directs  his  wife  '  to  beat  at 
least  the  little  girl ' ;  and  on  a  subsequent  occasion  the  same  or  a 
similar  small  culprit  was  punished  rather  mercilessly  for  the  sins  of  the 
others  (February  19,  1664) : 

At  supper,  hearing  by  accident  of  rny  rnayds  their  letting  in  a  rogueing- 
Scotch  woman  that  haunts  the  office,  to  helpe  them  to  washe  and  secure  in  our 
house,  and  that  very  lately,  I  fell  mightily  out,  and  made  my  wife,  to  the 
disturbance  of  the  house  and  neighbours,  to  beat  our  little  girle,  and  then  we 
shut  her  down  into  the  cellar,  and  there  she  lay  all  night. 

He  himself  frequently  chastises  his  boy,  and  he  once  committed 

an  atrocious  assault  upon  a  woman  servant  (April  12,  1667) : 

/ 
Coming  homeward  again,  saw  my  door  and  hatch  open,  left  so  by  Luce,  our 

cook  mayde,  which  so  vexed  me  that  I  did  give  her  a  kick  in  our  entry  and 
offered  a  blow  at  her. 

Nemesis,  however,  was  present  in  the  shape  of  Sir  William  Perm's 
footboy,  who  witnessed  the  incident,  and  as  Pepys  feared  (pro- 
bably with  good  reason)  would  '  be  telling  the  family  of  it.'  Even 
Mrs.  Pepys  was  not  safe  from  corporal  admonishment,  and  he  once 
came  to  blows  with  her  in  bed — an  arena  which  must  have  seriously 
cramped  the  style  of  the  combatants  (October  7,  1664) : 

Lay  pretty  while  with  some  discontent  abed,  even  to  the  having  bad  words 
with  my  wife,  and  blows  too,  about  the  ill- serving  of  our  victuals  yesterday ; 
but  all  ended  in  love. 

Sometimes,  however,  she  was  not  so  easily  appeased  (December  19, 
1664) : 

Going  to  bed  betimes  last  night  we  waked  betimes,  and  from  our  people's 
being  forced  to  take  the  key  to  go  out  to  light  a  candle,  I  was  very  angry  and 
begun  to  find  fault  with  my  wife,  for  not  commanding  her  servants  as  she  ought. 
Thereupon  she  giving  me  some  cross  answer,  I  did  strike  her  over  her  left  eye 
such  a  blow  as  the  poor  wretch  did  cry  out  and  was  in  great  pain,  but  yet  her 
spirit  was  such  as  to  endeavour  to  bite  and  scratch  me. 

So  again  (July  12,  1667) : 

So  home,  and  there  find  my  wife  in  a  dogged  humour  for  my  not  dining  at 
home,  and  I  did  give  her  a  pull  by  the  nose  and  some  ill  words,  which  she  pro- 
voked me  to  by  something  she  spoke,  that  we  fell  extraordinarily  out,  insomuch 
that  I  going  to  the  office  to  avoid  further  anger,  she  followed  me  in  a  devilish 
manner  thither,  and  with  much  ado  I  got  her  into  the  garden  out  of  hearing'to 
prevent  shame,  and  so  home,  and  by  degrees  I  found  it  necessary  to  calme  her.. 

Our  natural  indignation  at  Pepys'  behaviour  is  half  paralysed  by 
the  indifference  with  which  it  is  narrated.  Cuffs  and  blows  seem 
incidents  of  domestic  life  too  ordinary  for  comment,  and,  though 
Pepys  displays  his  usual  sensitiveness  to  outside  opinion  on  the 

T   2 


272  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

subject,  internal  family  relations  do  not  appear  to  have  been  dis- 
turbed by  them.  But  it  shows  incidentally  that,  in  reference  to  women, 
the  chivalry  of  the  day  still  savoured  of  the  age  when  woman  was 
'  half  wife,  half  chattel.' 

Five  centuries  before  Pepys  the  Troubadours  had  preached,  and 
to  a  certain  extent  effected,  the  deliverance  of  woman  from  this 
thraldom ;  but  even  they  could  not  wholly  shake  off  the  instincts  of 
the  old  Adam. 

My  boy,  if  you  wish  to  make  constant  your  Venus, 

Attend  to  the  plan  I  disclose — 
Her  first  naughty  word  you  meet  with  a  menace, 

Her  next — drop  your  fist  on  her  nose. 

RUTHERFORD,  TJie  Tioubalou  -s,  p.  129. 

This  was  the  advice  of  Rambaud  of  Vaquieras  in  the  twelfth 
century,  and  it  was  evidently  not  out  of  date  at  the  end  of  the  seven- 
teenth. 

However,  to  return  to  the  story.  After  Ashwell's  departure, 
Mrs.  Pepys  remained  without  a  lady's-maid  for  more  than  a  year,  til], 
t>n  the  8th  of  September  1664,  Mary  Mercer  came  to  fill  her  place. 
Her  engagement  had  been  a  matter  of  much  consideration  by  the 
Pepys.  On  the  28th  of  July  1664  he  writes 

My  present  posture  is  thus :  my  wife  in  the  country  and  my  niayde  Besse 
with  her  and  all  quiett  there.  I  am  endeavouring  to  find  a  woman  for  her  to 
my  mind,  and  above  all  one  that  understands  musique,  especially  singing.  I  am 
the  willinger  to  keepe  one  because  I  am  in  good  hopes  to  get  2  or  3001.  per 
annum  extraordinary  by  the  business  of  the  victualling  of  Tangier. 

But  as  he  further  tells  us  : 

I  do  now  live  very  prettily  at  home,  being  most  seriously,  quietly,  and 
neatly  served  by  my  two  mayds  Jane  and  Sue,  with  both  of  whom  I  am 
mightily  well  pleased. 

It  was  accordingly  with  some  misgivings  that  he  ventured  to 
disturb  this  peaceful  state  of  things ;  and  even  after  Mercer  had  been 
definitely  engaged,  he  writes  on  the  29th  of  August  1664  : 

But  I  must  remember  that,  never  since  I  was  a  housekeeper,  I  ever  lived  so 
•quietly,  without  any  noise  or  one  angry  word  almost,  as  I  have  done  since  my 
present  mayds  Besse,  Jane,  and  Susan  came  and  were  together.  Now  I  have 
taken  a  boy  and  am  taking  a  woman,  I  pray  God  we  may  not  be  worse,  but 
I  will  observe  it. 

The  boy  was  Tom  Edwards,  also  a  songster,  '  having  been  bred 
in  the  Kings  Chappell  these  four  years.'  Pepys  engaged  him  as 
a  clerk,  but  no  doubt  with  an  eye  to  his  musical  capabilities.  These 
gave  great  satisfaction  to  his  master,  who  writes  of  him  on  the  9th  of 
September  1664  :  '  My  boy,  a  brave  boy,  sings  finely,  and  is  the  most 
pleasant  boy  at  present,  while  his  ignorant  boy's  tricks  last,  that  I 


1904  PEPYS  AND   MEECEE  273 

ever  saw.'     The  last  part  of  this  eulogy  may  sound  strange  to  us, 
but  Pepys  had  a  large  heart. 

Mercer  came  on  the  recommendation  of  Will  Hewer,  Pepys'  clerk 
and  factotum,  but  the  situation  had  almost  been  promised  to  '  a 
kinswoman '  of  his  friend  Mr.  Blagrave,  who  seems  to  have  been 
prevented  at  the  last  moment  by  ill-health  from  accepting  it.  Pepys 
was  at  first  not  over-anxious  to  engage  Mercer,  for  a  reason  which 
illustrates  his  sensitiveness  to  public  opinion  (August  1,  1664)  : 

So  home,  and  there  talked  long  with  Will  about  the  young  woman  of  his 
family  which  he  spoke  of  for  to  live  with  my  wife,  but  though  she  hath  very 
many  good  qualitys,  yet  being  a  neighbour's  child  and  young  and  not  very  staid, 
I  dare  not  venture  of  having  her,  because  of  her  being  able  to  spread  any  report 
of  our  family  upon  any  discontent  among  the  heai*t  of  our  neighbours.  So  that 
my  dependence  is  upon  Mr.  Blagrave. 

So  too  in  the  following  entry  (August  31,  1664) : 

She  is  one  that  Will  finds  out  for  us,  and  understands  a  little  musique,  and" 
and  I  think  will  please  us  well,  only  her  friends  live  too  near  us. 

And  a  similar  fear  of  social  criticism  sharpens  the  sting  of  remorse 
for  his  behaviour  to  the  '  cook  mayde  Luce  '  already  mentioned.  But 
these  doubts  speedily  vanished  on  the  arrival  of  Mercer,  who  rose  at 
once  into  high  favour.  Probably  '  the  strange  slavery  that  I  stand 
in  to  beauty,  that  I  value  nothing  near  it '  (September  6,  1664), 
contributed  to  her  esteem  in  her  master's  eyes ;  but  independently 
of  her  looks,  she  undoubtedly  possessed  some  attractive  social  qualities. 
Unlike  poor  Pall,  she  is  admitted  from  the  first  to  her  master's  dinner 
table  (September  9,  1664) : 

Mercer  dined  with  us  at  table,  this  being  her  first  dinner  in  my  house.  After 
dinner  left  them  and  to  White  Hall,  where  a  small  Tangier  Committee,  and  so 
back  again  home,  and  there  my  wife  and  Mercer  and  Tom  and  I  sat  till  eleven 
at  night,  singing  and  fiddling,  and  a  great  joy  it  is  to  see  me  master  of  so 
much  pleasure  in  my  house,  that  it  is  and  will  be  still,  I  hope,  a  constant 
pleasure  to  me  to  be  at  home.  The  girle  plays  pretty  well  upon  the  harpsicord, 
but  only  ordinary  tunes,  but  hath  a  good  hand ;  sings  a  little,  but  hath  a  good, 
voyce  and  eare. 

Pepys  must  have  made  no  secret  of  his  admiration,  for  Mrs.  Pepya 
very  soon  took  occasion  to  interfere  (September  19,  1664)  : 

Up,  my  wife  and  I  having  a  little  anger  about  her  woman  alread}',  she 
thinking  that  I  take  too  much  care  of  her  at  table  to  mind  her  (my  wife)  of 
cutting  for  her,  but  it  soon  over. 

Pepys,  however,  took  the  hint,  and  evidently  became  more  dis- 
creet. On  the  29th  of  September  1664  he  finds  Mercer  playing  on 
her  '  Vyall,'  '  So  I  to  the  Vyall  and  singing  till  late.'  But  with  this 
exception  we  hear  no  more  of  music  with  her  till  the  llth  of  November 
1664 ;  and  for  many  months  afterwards,  so  far  as  appears  from  the 


274  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

Diary,  there  was  nothing  more  than  the  most  ordinary  intercourse 
between  master  and  maid.  Moreover,  in  May  1665  the  plague  made 
its  appearance,  and  on  the  5th  of  July  1665  Mrs.  Pepys  and  two  of 
her  maids  leave  London  for  Woolwich,  her  husband  following  early 
in  September,  and  taking  up  his  quarters  at  Greenwich,  whither  his 
office  had  been  removed  in  the  middle  of  August.  Notwithstanding 
the  natural  anxieties  of  the  time,  he  continued,  as  usual,  to  enjoy 
himself.  He  admits  in  his  retrospect  of  the  year  (December  31,  1665) 
to  the  '  great  store  of  dancings  we  have  had  at  my  cost  (which  I 
was  willing  to  indulge  myself  and  my  wife)  at  my  lodgings.'  Mercer 
figured  in  these  entertainments  and  distinguished  herself  as  a  dancer. 
On  the  llth  of  October  1665  we  hear  of 

&  fine  company  at  my  lodgings  at  Woolwich,  where  my  wife  and  Mercer,  and 
Mrs.  Barbara  danced,  and  mighty  merry  we  were,  but  especially  at  Mercer's 
dancing  a  jigg,  which  she  does  the  best  I  ever  did  see,  having  the  most  natural 
way  of  it,  and  keeps  time  the  most  perfectly  I  ever  did  see. 

This  corroborates  his  previous  testimony  to  her  good  ear. 

About  this  time,  however,  began  Mrs.  Pepys'  quarrels  with  Mercer, 
•which  broke  out  periodically  afterwards.  Their  first  serious  dispute 
•occurred  towards  the  end  of  August  (August  29,  1665) : 

In  the  morning  waking,  among  other  discourse  my  wife  began  to  tell  me 
the  difference  between  her  and  Mercer,  and  that  it  was  only  from  restraining 
her  to  gad  abroad  to  some  Frenchmen  that  were  in  the  town,  which  I  do  not 
wholly  yet  hi  part  believe,  and  for  my  quiet  would  not  enquire  into. 

Probably  Pepys  was  right  in  concluding  that  the  charge  had  a 
foundation  in  fact,  though  his  wife's  account  of  it  might  be  rather 
highly  coloured ;  and  every  man  must  sympathise  with  his  truly 
masculine  cowardice  in  keeping  clear  of  the  quarrel  altogether. 

Mrs.  Pepys  returned  to  their  London  home  on  the  2nd  of  December 
1665,  but  Pepys  himself  did  not  return  there  finally  till  the  7th  of 
January  1666.  In  the  February  following,  Mercer  accompanies  them 
on  their  visit  to  Sir  George  Carteret,  at  Cranbourne,  and  thence  to 
Windsor.  This  visit,  and  the  reception  which  greeted  him,  pleased 
Pepys'  vanity  enormously.  As  he  tells  us  (February  26,  1665) : 

So  much  love  and  kindnesse  from  my  Lady  Carteret,  Lady  Jeniimah,  and 
Lady  Slaning,  that  it  joys  my  heart,  and  when  I  consider  the  manner  of  my 
going  hither,  with  a  coach  and  four  horses  and  servants  and  a  woman  with  us, 
and  coming  hither  being  so  much  made  of,  and  used  with  that  state,  and  then 
going  to  Windsor  and  being  shown  all  that  we  were  there,  and  had  wherewith 
to  give  every  body  something  for  their  pains,  and  then  going  home,  all  in  fine 
weather  and  no  fears  or  cares  upon  me,  I  do  thinke  myself  obliged  to  thinke 
myself  happy. 

"  Possibly  the  ladies  may  have  been  a  little  upset  by  their  exertions, 


1904  PEPYS  AND   MERCER  275 

but  we  learn  with  regret  that  the  harmony  of  this  happy  day  ended  in 
a  discord. 

After  a  little  at  iny  office,  I  to  bed ;  and  an  houre  after  was  waked  with 
my  wife's  quarrelling  with  Mercer,  at  which  I  was  angry,  and  my  wife  and  I 
fell  out.  But  with  much  ado  to  sleep  again,  I  beginning  to  practise  more 
temper  and  give  her  her  way. 

On  the  8th  of  April  1666,  Mrs.  Pepys  being  at  the  time  on  a  visit 
to  his  father  at  Brampton,  we  read :  '  At  night  had  Mercer  to  comb 
my  head  and  so  to  supper,  sing  a  psalm,  and  to  bed.'  This  task, 
which  Mercer  was  called  upon  more  than  once  to  undertake,  may 
sometimes  have  been  rather  unpleasant.  Personal  cleanliness  was 
not  a  strong  feature  of  the  period,  and  Pepys  was  in  no  way. ahead  of 
his  times  in  this  respect.  On  the  23rd  of  January  1668  he  tells  us 
with  the  utmost  composure  that,  suspecting  the  presence  of  parasites, 
he  caused  his  wife  to  make  the  necessary  search.  His  suspicions 
proved  to  be  fully  justified,  and  here  the  language  of  the  Diary  becomes 
too  plain  for  our  politer  ears.  But  to  Pepys  the  discovery  was  evi- 
dently insignificant,  though  he  was  moved  to  a  mild  astonishment  at 
the  numbers  of  the  enemy,  '  which  I  wonder  at,  being  more  than  I 
have  had  I  believe  these  twenty  years.'  Indeed,  it  almost  seems 
from  an  entry  of  the  21st  of  February  1664  that  he  regarded  cleanli- 
ness as  a  sort  of  affectation. 

My  wife  being  busy  in  going  with  her  woman  to  a  hot  house  to  bathe  her- 
self, after  her  being  long  within  doors  in  the  dirt,  so  that  she  now  pretends  to  a 
resolution  of  being  hereafter  very  clean.  How  long  it  will  hold  I  can  guess. 

Mrs.  Pepys  returned  somewhat  unexpectedly,  on  the  19th  of  April 
1666,  from  her  visit  to  Brampton,  as  to  which  Pepys  observes  : 
*  Anon  comes  my  wife  from  Brampton,  not  looked  for  till  Saturday, 
which  will  hinder  me  of  a  little  pleasure,  but  I  am  glad  of  her  coming.' 
The  remark  concisely  sums  up  his  general  attitude  towards  her.  In 
his  light-hearted  way  he  was  really  fond  of  her,  and  liked  her  company. 
He  pays  a  charming  tribute  to  her  care  and  affection  for  him  in  the 
days  of  their  poverty,  '  for  which  I  ought  ever  to  love  and  admire 
her,  and  do  '  (February  25,  1666).  And  again  he  exclaims,  '  For  my 
part  I  and  my  wife  will  keep  to  one  another  and  let  the  world  go  hang, 
for  there  is  nothing  but  falseness  in  it'  (March  5,  1666).  But  her 
follies  and  her  indifferent  management  of  the  household  annoyed 
him.  Thus  he  writes  bitterly  on  the  4th  of  February  1664  : 

Was  cruelly  vexed  in  my  mind  that  all  my  trouble  in  this  world  almost  should 
arise  from  my  disorders  in  my  family  and  the  indiscretion  of  a  wife  that  brings 
me  nothing  almost  (besides  a  comely  person)  but  only  trouble  and  discontent. 

He  was  also  rather  in  dread  of  her  tongue  and  her  temper,  but  he 
never  hesitated  to  sacrifice  her  to  his  selfish  pursuit  of  pleasure. 

And  now  we  begin  to  hear  more  of  those  impromptu  musical 


276  THE   NINETEENTH    CENTURY  Aug. 

gatherings  which  form  such  a  delightful  element  in  the  picture  of 
his  life.  No  time  or  place  came  amiss  for  them,  and  on  one  occasion 
he  and  Mercer  sing  together  in  Spring  Garden  till  they  collect  a  crowd 
round  them.  But  it  was  mostly  in  his  garden,  or  on  his  new  leads, 
that  he  and  his  wife  and  Mercer,  sometimes  assisted  by  his  boy,  Tom, 
or  by  musical  friends  like  Mr.  Hill,  would  pass  evening  after  evening 
in  music  and  song.  One  instance  will  suffice  (May  5,  1666) : 

About  11  I  home,  it  being  a  fine  moonshine  and  so  my  wife  and  Mercer 
come  into  the  garden,  and,  my  business  being  done,  we  sang  till  about  twelve  at 
night,  with  mighty  pleasure  to  ourselves  and  neighbours,  by  their  casements 
opening,  and  so  home  to  supper  and  to  bed. 

About  this  time  his  attachment  to  Mercer  was  evidently  becoming 
stronger,  and  he  was  greatly  disturbed  by  a  serious  quarrel  between 
her  and  his  wife,  which  resulted  in  the  former  returning  to  her  mother's 
house  on  the  23rd  of  June  1666.  Of  this  he  writes  : 

I  to  my  papers,  but  vexed  at  what  I^heard  but  a  little  of  this  morning,  before 
my  wife  went  out,  that  Mercer  and  she  fell  out  last  night,  and  the  girle  is  gone 
home  to  her  mother's  for  alltogcther.  At  the  office  all  the  morning,  much  dis- 
quiett  in  my  mind  in  the  middle  of  myVbusiness  about  this  girle.  Home  at 
noon  to  dinner,  and  what  with  the  going  away  of  my  father  to-day  and  the  losse 
of  Mercer,  I  after  dinner  went  up  to  my  chamber  and  there  could  have  cried 
to  myself,  had  not  people  come  to  me  about  business. 

However,  the  quarrel  was  patched  up,  Mercer  returned,  and  the 
musical  parties  were  resumed.  Thus  we  hear  (July  24,  1666)  :  '  At 
noon  to  dinner,  and  after  dinner  with  Mercer  (as  of  late  my  practice 
is)  a  song  and  so  to  the  office.'  But,  alas  !  this  furnished  Mrs.  Pepys 
with  a  new  ground  of  offence  (July  30,  1666) : 

Thence  home ;  and  to  sing  with  my  wife  and  Mercer  in  the  garden  ;  and 
coming  in  I  find  my  wife  plainly  dissatisfied  with  me,  that  I  can  spend  so  much 
time  with  Mercer,  teaching  her  to  sing,  and  could  never  take  the  pains  with  her.. 
Which  I  acknowledge ;  but  it  is  because  the  girle  do  take  musique  mighty 
readily,  and  she  do  not,  and  musique  is  the  thing  of  the  world  that  I  love  most, 
and  all  the  pleasure  almost  that  I  can  now  take.  So  to  bed  in  some  little 
discontent,  but  no  words  from  me. 

Still  matters  seem  to  have  proceeded  on  the  old  footing,  Mercer 
continuing  to  be  their  companion  as  before  in  musical  parties,  picnics, 
and  other  entertainments.  Certainly  there  was  no  unpleasant  feeling 
on  the  14th  of  August  1666,  the  Thanksgiving  Day  appointed  for  a 
victory  over  the  Dutch,  when  the  remarkable  party  at  Mrs.  Mercer's 
took  place.  The  Diarist  shall  describe  this  for  himself. 

And  then  about  nine  o'clock  to  Mrs.  Mercer's  gate,  where  the  fire  and  boys 
expected  us,  and  her  son  had  provided  abundance  of  serpents  and  rockets  ;  and 
there  mighty  merry  (my  Lady  Penn  and  Pegg  going  thither  with  us,  and  Nan 
Wright),  till  about  twelve  at  night,  flinging  our  fireworks,  and  burning  one 
another  and  the  people  over  the  way.  And  at  last  our  businesses  being  most 


1904  PEPYS  AND    MERCER  277 

spent,  we  into  Mrs.  Mercer's,  and  there  mighty  merry,  smutting  one  another 
with  candle  grease  and  soot,  till  most  of  us  were  like  devils.  And  that  being 
done,  then  we  broke  up,  and  to  my  house ;  and  there  I  made  them  drink,  and 
upstairs  we  went,  and  then  fell  into  dancing  (W.  Batelier  dancing  well),  and 
dressing,  him  and  I  and  one  Mr.  Banister  (who  with  his  wife  come  over  also 
with  us)  like  women ;  and  Mercer  put  on  a  suit  of  Tom's  like  a  boy  ["  Oh,  Mercer, 
Mercer !  "]  and  mighty  mirth  we  had,  and  Mercer  danced  a  jigg ;  and  Nan 
Wright  and  my  wife  and  Pegg  Pen  put  on  periwiggs.  Thus  we  spent  till  three 
or  four  in  the  morning,  mighty  merry ;  and  then  parted,  and  to  bed. 

After  a  night  like  this  it  is  not  surprising  to  find  that  the  first 
entry  in  the  Diary  for  the  next  day  is  '  Mighty  sleepy.'  But  three 
weeks  later  the  final  quarrel  occurred  between  Mrs.  Pepys  and  Mercer, 
and  on  the  3rd  of  September  1666  Mercer  was  dismissed.  This  is 
Pepys'  account  of  the  affair  : 

This  day,  Mercer  being  not  at  home,  but  against  her  mistress's  order  gone  to 
her  mother's,  and  my  wife  going  thither  to  speak  withW.  Hewer,  met  her  there, 
and  was  angry  ;  and  her  mother  saying  that  she  was  not  a  'prentice  girl,  to  ask 
leave  every  time  she  goes  abroad,  my  wife  with  good  reason  was  angry,  and 
when  she  came  home,  bid  her  begone  again.  And  so  she  went  away,  which 
troubled  me,  but  yet  less  than  it  would,  because  of  the  condition  we  are  in,  fear 
of  coming  into  in  a  little  time  of  being  less  able  to  keepe  one  in  her  quality. 

Pepys'  fears  were  probably  due  to  the  Great  Fire  which  was  then 
raging ;  but  his  allusion  to  Mercer's  '  quality '  seems  to  indicate  that 
she  was  superior  to  the  ordinary  run  of  maidservants.  Negotiations 
for  her  return  were  subsequently  opened,  Pepys  bribing  his  wife  with 
a  gown  at  15s.  a  yard  '  to  incline  her  to  have  Mercer  again '  ;  and  a 
treaty  in  the  following  terms  was  finally  arranged  between  husband 
and  wife  (September  28,  1666) : 

Lay  long  in  bed,  and  am  come  to  an  agreement  with  my  wife  to  have  Mercer 
again,  on  condition  she  may  learn  this  winter  two  months  to  dance,  and  she 
promises  me  she  will  endeavour  to  learn  to  sing,  and  all  this  I  am  willing 
enough  to. 

Mercer  herself,  however,  was  not  disposed  to  return,  notwith- 
standing her  mother's  desire  that  she  should  do  so,  and  on  the 
12th  of  October  1666  her  place  was  filled  by  Barker.  But  this  separa- 
tion did  not  last  long,  and  friendly  intercourse  between  Mercer  and 
her  old  master  and  mistress  was  soon  resumed,  though  on  a  far  more 
natural  footing.  With  all  due  allowance  for  the  different  conditions 
of  the  period,  she  was  evidently  above  the  status  of  an  ordinary  ser- 
vant, and  was  fully  qualified  for  that  of  a  friend.  This  position 
she  speedily  fell  into,  and  became  the  constant  companion  of 
Mrs.  Pepys,  who,  in  spite  of  occasional  tiffs,  evidently  enjoyed  her 
society.  On  the  18th  of  November  1666,  a  little  more  than  two  months 
after  her  dismissal,  Mercer  dines  with  the  Pepyses,  and  from  this  time 
forth  she  was  a  constant  visitor  and  not  an  infrequent  guest  at  their 
house.  On  the  24th  of  February  1667  Mrs.  Pepys  declares  that  she 


278  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

will  not  send  for  Mercer '  to  dine  with  us  as  heretofore,'  on  the  ground 
of  the  ill  report  which  she  '  hath  got  by  her  keeping  of  company.' 
It  may  be  conceded  that  Mercer  was  something  of  a  flirt,  but  probably 
this  resolution  was  due  more  to  a  passing  fit  of  ill- temper  or  jealousy 
on  the  part  of  Mrs.  Pepys  than  to  any  serious  scandal  attaching  to 
Mercer.  It  is  certain,  at  any  rate,  that  her  resolution  was  not  kept, 
for  on  the  8th  of  April  1667  Mercer  filled  a  place  in  a  grand  dinner 
party  of  twelve,  where  Pepys,  with  a  certain  characteristic  snobbish- 
ness, brought  out  all  his  best  plate  for  the  express  purpose  of  annoying 
his  guests. 

But  Lord !  to  see  with  what  envy  they  looked  upon  all  my  fine  plate  was 
pleasant ;  for  I  made  the  best  show  I  could,  to  let  them  understand  me  and  my 
condition,  to  take  down  the  pride  of  Mrs.  Clerke,  who  thinks  herself  very  great. 

Indeed,  Mercer  seems  to  have  shared  most  of  their  amusements, 
theatres,  picnics,  and  other  jaunts.  Moreover,  the  old  musical 
meetings  are  revived,  with  Barker  (the  new  maid)  to  swell  the  choir — 
a  valuable  addition  according  to  Pepys. 

On  the  2nd  of  April  1668,  Mrs.  Pepys  goes  on  a  visit  to  Brampton  till 
the  26th  of  May,  and  Pepys  at  once  blossoms  out  into  a  grass  widower 
of  the  most  vigorous  growth.  His  life  becomes  a  round  of  festivities 
in  the  company  of  Mercer,  Mrs.  Gayet,  Mrs.  Horsfield,  Mrs.  Turner, 
and  others,  and  he  plainly  enjoyed  himself  hugely.  Small  wonder, 
however,  that  Mrs.  Pepys,  when  tales  of  these  junketings  came  to  her 
ears,  should  take  an  unsympathetic  view  of  them  ;  and  they  certainly 
aggravated  her  bitterness  in  the  domestic  convulsion  which  darkens 
the  last  months  of  the  Diary.  This  is  Pepys'  account  of  the  situation 
on  the  18th  of  June  1668,  after  the  return  of  himself,  his  wife,  and 
Deborah  Willett  (who  had  then  been  installed  as  maid  in  Barker's 
place)  from  their  tour  to  Oxford,  Bristol,  Salisbury,  and  elsewhere  : 

My  wife  still  in  a  melancholy  fusty  humour,  and  crying,  and  do  not  tell  me 
plainly  what  it  is ;  but  I  by  little  words  find  that  she  hath  heard  of  my  going  to 
plays,  and  carrying  people  abroad  every  day  in  her  absence. 

He  fears  that  the  storm  will  soon  burst ;  and  it  does,  Mrs.  Pepys 
reproaching  him  with  his  selfish  devotion  to  pleasure,  and  begging, 
with  tears,  '  that  she  might  go  into  France,  and  live  there  out  of 
trouble.'  However,  peace  was  patched  up  in  a  fashion,  and  the  old 
routine  continued  outwardly  unbroken.  Mercer  is  still  constantly  in 
their  company,  and  on  one  occasion  (May  29,  1668)  she  brings  a  friend 
of  her  own — a  Mr.  Monteith — to  sing  with  them.  Pepys  was  not  too 
well  pleased  with  this,  possibly  from  jealousy  of  Monteith,  whom  he 
described  as  '  a  swaggering,  handsome  young  gentleman,'  contrasting 
him  unfavourably  with  his  companion,  one  Pelham,  '  a  sober  citizen 
merchant.'  However,  he  was  obliged,  as  he  tells  us,  to  spend  '  all 
this  evening  till  eleven  at  night  singing  with  them,  till  I  was  tired 


1904  PEPYS  AND   MERCER  279 

of  them,  because  of  the  swaggering  fellow  with  the  base,  though  the 
girl  Mercer  did  mightily  commend  him  before  me.'  On  the  10th  of 
September  1668  Mrs.  Pepys  abuses  her  husband  violently  for  staying 
with  Mercer  in  the  coach  to  teach  her  '  the  Larke's  song,'  while  she 
herself  is  shopping.  But  this  was  only  a  passing  displeasure,  as  on  the 
15th  of  September  1668  Mrs.  Pepys,  Mercer,  Deborah,  and  W.  Hewer 
all  go  on  a  visit  to  Roger  Pepys  at  Cambridge,  to  see  '  Sturbridge 
Fayre.'  There  is  a  gap  in  the  Diary  between  the  29th  of  September  and 
the  llth  of  October,  but  they  must  have  returned  from  this  visit  by 
the  latter  date,  as  we  find  on  the  12th  of  October  1668  that  Mrs.  Pepys, 
Mercer,  W.  Hewer,  and  Deborah  go  to  the  King's  playhouse  ;  and  at 
this  point  Mercer  disappears  from  the  story. 

It  is  almost  more  by  inference  than  from  direct  information  that 
we  can  gain  any  general  idea  of  this  attractive  but  elusive  figure, 
who  entered  so  largely  into  the  Diarist's  life.  Her  social  antecedents 
we  know  to  have  been  good.  Pepys  speaks  of  her  (September  8, 
1664)  as  '  a  decayed  merchant's  daughter.'  Nowadays  a  girl  of  such 
position  would  hardly  go  into  service,  but  it  was  by  no  means  unusual 
in  the  seventeenth  century,  when  '  tradesmen  of  the  better  sort  were 
gentlemen,  not  only  in  point  of  cultivation,  but  belonging  to  good 
families  ;  younger  sons  of  men  of  position  went  into  trade  as  a  matter 
of  course,  and  did  not  lose  caste  in  any  way  by  so  doing.' 2 

Pepys  himself  belonged  to  an  old  family,  the  Pepyses  of  Cottenham 
in  Cambridgeshire,  and  his  great-aunt,  Paulina,  married  Sir  Sidney 
Montagu,  and  became  the  mother  of  the  first  Earl  of  Sandwich.  Yet 
Pepys'  father,  before  succeeding  to  his  brother  Robert's  estate  at 
Brampton,  followed  the  trade  of  a  tailor,  and  young  Samuel  as  a  lad 
used  to  carry  parcels  to  his  customers  (March  11,  1667).  Again, 
'  the  superior  sort  of  servants  were  as  well  educated  as  their  masters, 
and  wrote  letters  at  least  as  well,  if  not  better,  spelt  and  expressed 
than  those  of  their  mistresses.' 3 

But  we  need  not  go  outside  the  Diary  for  evidence  of  the  com- 
paratively high  social  level  from  which  the  better  servants  were 
drawn.  Thus  Gosnell,  as  we  have  seen,  was  niece  to  Justice  Jiggins. 
Deborah  Willett's  uncle  was  a  Bristol  merchant,  '  a  sober  merchant, 
very  good  company,  and  so  like  one  of  our  sober,  wealthy,  London 
merchants,  as  pleased  me  mightily.'  Indeed,  her  arrival  at  Bristol 
(June  13,  1668)  produced  a  mild  social  excitement,  many  visitors 
coming  to  see  her  out  of  affection  to  the  memory  of  her  mother,  who 
had  been  '  a  brave  woman  mightily  beloved  among  the  poor  of  the 
place.'  So,  too,  in  September  1664,  after  Mercer  had  been  engaged, 
but  four  days  before  she  came,  Pepys  records  that : 

Mr.  Hill  came  to  tell  me  that  he  had  got  a  gentlewoman  for  my  wife,  one 
Mrs.  Ferrabosco,  that  sings  most  admirably.  I  seemed  glad  of  it ;  but  I  hear 
she  is  too  gallant  for  me,  and  I  am  not  sorry  that  I  misse  her. 

2  Home  Life  under  tlie  Stuarts,  Introd.  vi.  3  Ib.  219. 


280  THE   NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

Considerations  of  this  kind  throw  an  instructive  light  on  such 
incidents  as  Mrs.  Mercer's  party.  Pepys  was  keenly  alive  to  the 
quality  of  his  company,  and  unless  he  had  recognised  the  Mercers  as 
socially  his  equals,  he  certainly  would  not  have  betaken  himself 
readily  to  a  boisterous  romp  at  the  house  of  his  maidservant's  mother. 
Of  Mercer's  appearance  we  can  glean  next  to  nothing.  Pepys  de- 
scribes her  (December  31,  1664)  as  '  a  pretty,  modest,  quiett  mayde  '  ; 
and  on  the  20th  of  April  1665  we  find  this  entry :  '  At  noon  dined, 
and  Mr.  Povey  by  agreement  with  me  (where  his  boldness  with  Mercer, 
poor  innocent  wench,  did  make  both  her  and  me  blush).'  Whether 
she  was  dark  or  fair  we  know  not,  but  her  general  appearance  must 
have  been  rather  distinguished,  for  a  certain  Captain  Herbert 
(September  22, 1665)  '  did  mighty  seriously  inquire  after  who  was  that 
in  the  black  dress  with  my  wife  yesterday,  and  would  not  believe  that 
it  was  my  wife's  mayde,  Mercer,  but  it  was  she.'  On  one  other  occasion 
only,  so  far  as  I  know,  is  her  dress  noticed — namely,  on  the  6th  of  August 
1667,  when,  on  returning  to  dinner  at  noon,  Pepys  finds  '  Mrs.  Wood, 
formerly  Bab  Shelden,  and  our  Mercer,  who  is  dressed  to-day  in  a 
paysan  dress,  that  looks  mighty  pretty.'  She  was  then,  of  course, 
no  longer  in  service,  and  perhaps  we  may  assume  that  while  she  was 
a  member  of  Pepys'  household  a  decorous  black  attire  veiled  the 
well-springs  of  frolic  that  lay  beneath  the  surface.  We  may  be  certain, 
at  all  events,  that  she  was  simplex  munditiis,  for  Pepys,  whose  taste 
was  most  wholesome  in  this  matter,  abhorred  artificial  adornment  in 
women.  He  flies  into  a  rage  over  his  wife's  '  white  locks,'  as  he 
scornfully  calls  the  side  puffs  of  fair  hair  with  which  she  had  tricked 
herself  out  (May  11,  1667).  He  also  detested  paint  (September  16, 
1667) :  '  My  wife  and  Mercer  called  me  to  Mrs.  Pierce's,  by  invitation 
to  dinner,  where  I  find  her  painted,  which  makes  me  loathe  her.' 
There  are  indications  that  Mercer  always  inclined  to  embonpoint  ; 
indeed,  on  the  28th  of  October  1667  Pepys  ungallantly  records  that 
she  '  grows  fat.'  But  the  excellence  of  her  dancing  forbids  the  idea 
that  she  was  in  any  way  clumsy. 

Her  musical  powers,  and,  indeed,  the  general  diffusion  of  musical 
ability  among  the  middle  classes,  must  strike  us  as  remarkable. 
Pepys  was  continually  on  the  look-out  for  musical  servants,  and 
seems  to  have  had  little  difficulty  in  obtaining  them.  Nor  was  he 
singular  in  this  respect.  Sir  Kalph  Verney,  writing  from  abroad, 
speaks  of  a  maid  whose  merits  and  demerits  present  a  peculiar  com- 
bination. '  Her  two  sisters  are  but  Ramping  girls,  but  truly  she  is  a 
civill  wench,  and  plays  well  of  the  lute,  she  is  well  cladd,  and  well 
bred,  but  rawe  to  serve  and  full  of  the  itch.' 4 

It  is  clear  that  musical  proficiency  was  much  commoner  in  Pepys' 
community  than  in  our  own.  And  this  was  not  unnatural,  seeing 
that  in  the  sixteenth  and  seventeenth  centuries  the  study  of  music 
4  Home  Life  under  the  Stiiarts,  p.  213. 


1904  PEPYS  AND   MERCER  281 

usually  comprised  not  merely  musical  notation,  but  the  principles  of 
harmony  also.  In  musical  execution  we  doubtless  surpass  the  older 
musicians ;  but  few  ordinary  pianists  of  the  present  day  could  play 
from  the  figured  basses  which  were  in  regular  use  in  Pepys'  time. 
Sir  Frederick  Bridge  tells  us  that  there  was  then  '  a  general  custom 
of  keeping  a  cittern  in  a  barber's  shop,  so  that  the  person  waiting  to 
be  shaved  could  pass  the  time  pleasantly  till  his  turn  came.' 5  Such 
a  custom  could  only  have  arisen  in  response  to  a  tolerably  wide  demand. 
It  may  be  that  Pepys'  own  circle  was  rather  exceptionally  musical ; 
but  he  once  invites  a  casual  fellow-traveller  to  sing  with  him,  and  the 
readiness  with  which  the  invitation  is  accepted  shows  that  singing 
must  have  been  a  common  recreation.  Mercer's  musical  accom- 
plishments, therefore,  were  not  singular,  and  in  point  of  fact  it  appears 
that  they  were  not  above  the  average.  With  Pepys  it  was  a  passion, 
and  there  is  something  rather  droll  in  his  unaffected  confession 
(February  27,  1667)  that  '  the  wind-musique '  (in  The  Virgin 
Martyr)  '  when  the  angel  comes  down  is  so  sweet  that  it  ravished  me, 
and,  indeed,  in  a  word,  did  wrap  up  my  soul  so  that  it  made  me  really 
sick,  just  as  I  have  formerly  been  when  in  love  with  my  wife.'  And 
for  the  converse  we  may  turn  to  the  following  entry  of  the  22nd  of 
January,  1667 : 

Lord !  how  did  I  please  myself  to  make  Betty  Turner  sing,  to  see  what  a 
beast  she  is  as  to  singing,  not  knowing  how  to  sing  one  note  in  tune  ;  but,  only 
for  the  experiment,  I  would  not  for  40s.  hear  her  sing  a  tune  :  worse  than  my 
wife  a  thousand  times. 

It  seems,  however,  that  neither  he  nor  Mercer  was  a  highly  trained 
singer,  and,  like  her,  he  preferred  to  rely  rather  on  his  ear  and  native 
taste.  This  he  admits  (April  12,  1667) : 

I  tried  my  girles  Mercer  and  Barker  singly  one  after  another,  a  single  song 
'  At  dead  low  ebb,  &c.'  and  I  do  clearly  find  that  as  to  manner  of  singing,  the 
latter  do  much  the  better,  the  other  thinking  herself  as  I  do  myself  above  taking 
pains  for  a  manner  of  singing,  contenting  ourselves  with  the  judgment  and 
goodness  of  eare. 

He  had  learnt  harmony,  however,  and  his  song,  Beauty  Retire,  is, 
on  the  whole,  good  in  its  contrapuntal  construction,  and,  though 
slightly  heavy,  is  by  no  means  a  bad  song  in  itself. 

This  community  of  musical  tastes  is  the  pleasantest  feature  of 
Pepys'  intimacy  with  his  pretty  maid.  Whatever  unworthier  elements 
he  may  at  times  have  forced  into  them,  their  relations,  so  far  as 
music  was  concerned,  were  purely  idyllic.  Quite  an  Arcadian  charm 
hangs  over  the  merry  picnics  with  his  wife,  Mercer,  and  sometimes 
Deborah,  to  '  Barne  Elms,'  '  Fox  Hall,'  '  Morclake,'  and  elsewhere, 
bright  with  the  beguilement  of  music,  light  hearts,  and  the  moon- 
shine in  which  he  delighted,  and  those  quiet  evenings  of  song  in  the 

5  Samuel  Pepys,  Lover  of  Husigue,  r«  73. 


282  THE  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  Aug. 

garden,  which  he  missed  so  sorely  in  the  troublous  days  which  bring 
the  Diary  to  a  close. 

We  hear  a  good  deal  of  Mercer's  pretty  discourse,  but  not  a  single 
remark  of  hers  has  been  preserved ;  and  though  her  talk  may  well 
have  been  sprightly,  there  is  no  reason  to  suppose  that  she  was  intel- 
lectually brilliant.  Probably  her  charm  lay  largely  in  her  amiability, 
which,  on  the  whole,  was  proof  against  the  constant  petulance  of 
Mrs.  Pepys.  Moreover,  in  none  of  their  disputes  do  we  find  any 
trace  of  that  unseemly  violence  which  so  often  appears  in  Mrs.  Pepys' 
altercations  with  her  other  servants.  Pepys  testifies  (September  8, 
1664)  to  her  skilfulness  in  her  own  business,  and  except  once 
(December  26,  1665),  when  she  wanted  to  have  a  servant  under 
her,  she  never  seems  to  have  given  any  trouble.  Her  chief  stumbling- 
block  was  her  taste  for  getting  out,  a  taste  not  unknown  to  modern 
households,  and  which  seems  to  have  been  rampant  in  Pepys'  time. 
One  of  their  maids  was  really  a  gem  in  this  respect  (July  10,  1667) : 

Our  girle  Mary,  whom  Payne  helped  us  to  .  .  .  did  go  away  declaring  that 
she  must  be  where  she  might  earn  something  one  day,  and  spend  it  and  play 
away  the  next. 

It  is  difficult  to  see  how  a  household  could  be  conducted  on  these 
principles  at  all ;  but  Pepys  does  not  appear  to  think  her  conduct 
particularly  unusual.  Mercer's  personal  attractiveness  probably 
ministered  to  Pepys'  inordinate  love  of  display.  His  undisguised 
delight  in  having  '  all  things  mighty  rich  and  handsome  about '  him 
may  well  have  been  gratified  at  the  adornment  of  his  menage  by  the 
smart  maid  whose  culture  was  fully  on  a  level  with  that  of  his  ordinary 
guests.  But  apart  from  this,  the  mere  possession  of  a  maid  was  an 
accession  to  his  social  pretensions  which  he  appreciated  keenly. 
Thus,  on  the  first  Sunday  after  Mercer's  arrival  (September  11,  1664), 
we  find  : 

Up  and  to  Church  in  the  best  manner  I  have  gone  a  good  while,  that  is  to 
say,  with  my  wife,  and  her  woman  Mercer,  along  with  us,  and  Tom,  my  boy, 
waiting  on  us. 

And  the  same  feeling  is  displayed  in  the  account  of  his  visit  to  Sir 
George  Carteret. 

It  is,  of  course,  obvious  from  the  Diary  that,  for  a  time  at  any 
rate,  Pepys  infused  considerable  warmth  into  the  relations  between 
Mercer  and  himself  ;  but,  none  the  less,  they  reveal  an  unmistakable 
element  of  restraint  which  is  conspicuously  absent  from  most  of  his 
attachments.  Moreover,  he  records  all  his  peccadilloes  with  a  frank 
minuteness  which  makes  it  certain  that  no  detail  of  his  intimacy 
with  her  would  have  been  omitted  ;  and  hence  the  silence  of  the 
Diary  is  almost  conclusive  to  show  that  she  filled  her  somewhat 
perilous  position  with  considerable  tact  and  skill,  and  emerged  from 
it  without  being  seriously  compromised. 


1904  PEPYS  AND   MERCER  283 

Pepys'  apologists  have  no  easy  task,  and  it  is  better  to  admit 
frankly  that  no  real  apology  is  possible.  His  irregularities  cannot  be 
ignored  or  explained  away,  but  the  sternest  moralist  will  be  con- 
strained to  deal  gently  with  them.  Admitting  all  that  can  be  urged 
against  him,  the  character  of  the  man  pleads  for  lenience,  for  in 
many  respects  it  is  the  irresponsible  character  of  a  child.  We  have 
but  to  consider  his  puerile  squabbles  wit